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Rookie defensive tackle Calijah Kancey named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month

Tampa Bay’s first round pick has been seen often in the backfield of opponents.

NFL: NOV 12 Titans at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Calijah Kancey was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. He is the first interior defensive lineman in team history to win Rookie of the Month honors, and the first Tampa Bay rookie to win the award overall since Antoine Winfield Jr. in September of the 2020 season.

In four games during the month of November, Kancey recorded 10 tackles, including nine solo tackles and seven that went for a loss, adding four quarterback hits, 2.0 sacks and one pass defensed. His seven tackles for loss tied for the NFL lead among all players this month, alongside teammate Lavonte David. Kancey tallied two more tackles for loss than any other rookie and four more than any other non-Buccaneers rookie, as Yaya Diaby ranked second among rookies this month, with five.

In addition, Kancey ranked second among all rookies with 14 pressures, tied for second in quarterback hits (four) and tied for fourth in sacks (2.0).

Despite missing three games this season, Kancey still shares the lead among rookies in tackles for loss (eight) and ranks tied for third in quarterback hits (eight), fifth in pressures (25) and tied for eighth in sacks (3.0). He is the only rookie this season with 25-or-more pressures on fewer than 350 defensive snaps, according to TruMedia data.

Kancey is the second player to win Player of the Month recognition this season, joining punter Jake Camarda, who earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors for September. Kancey is the fifth Tampa Bay defensive player in team history to earn the Rookie of the Month distinction, including three active teammates (Lavonte David in 2012, Devin White twice in 2019 and Winfield Jr. in 2020).

(Courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.)