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Antoine Winfield, Jr. named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

NFL: DEC 03 Panthers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 13. Winfield Jr. became the fifth safety in team history to win Defensive Player of the Week accolades and the first since Mike Edwards in Week 2 of the 2021 season.

Winfield Jr. was one of two players across the league to record both a sack and an interception in Week 13, joining Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen. Winfield is tied with Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt for the most games with both a sack and a takeaway this season, with three-such occurrences.

His interception came with 2:21 remaining in a 21-18 victory for Tampa Bay. With his second interception of the season, Winfield Jr. became the first defensive back since Brian Dawkins and Roy Williams in 2002 with three-or-more forced fumbles, three-or-more fumble recoveries, multiple interceptions and multiple sacks in a single season. He is the first player at any position to record those statistics in a single season since Watt in 2019. In addition, Winfield Jr. and Watt are also the only players this season with three-or-more forced fumbles and three-or-more fumble recoveries.

Winfield finished Week 13 tied for first in the NFC in tackles for loss (two), tied for first in interceptions (one), tied for second in passes defensed (three) and tied for fourth in sacks (1.0). He also tallied a game-high eight tackles, including six solo takedowns.

Among defensive backs this season, Winfield Jr. ranks tied for first in sacks (3.0), tied for first in fumble recoveries (three), tied for second in forced fumbles (three), tied for third in quarterback hits (five), tied for fifth in takeaways (five) and tied for ninth in passes defensed (11). Winfield Jr. has earned a 91.2 grade this season from Pro Football Focus, tying Jevon Holland of the Miami Dolphins as the league’s highest graded safeties in 2023.

Since entering the league in 2020, Winfield Jr. leads all defensive backs with 12.0 sacks and ranks tied for first among defensive backs in quarterback hits (18) and tied for second in forced fumbles (eight). He also leads all players with seven fumble recoveries since 2020.

Winfield Jr. is the second Tampa Bay player to win Player of the Week recognition, joining punter Jake Camarda, who was named the Week 2 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

He was also recently named the Buccaneers nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year.

(Courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.)