Nov 26, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs to get past Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Dee Delaney (30) during the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Taylor’s 2 TDs lead Colts past Buccaneers

Jonathan Taylor rushed for two touchdowns Sunday and Gardner Minshew added another rushing score as the Indianapolis Colts held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20 in Indianapolis.

Taylor, who finished with 91 yards on 15 carries, pounded in from the 1 with 7:30 left in the game to answer Baker Mayfield’s 23-yard scoring strike to Mike Evans. That gave the Colts (6-5) a 27-17 lead.

Tampa Bay (4-7) responded with Chase McLaughlin’s 24-yard field goal at the 4:10 mark that brought it within a touchdown, then got the ball back at its 35-yard line with a chance to tie. But Baker Mayfield was strip-sacked by Samson Ebukam and Dayo Odeyingbo recovered at the 38 with 1:29 remaining, sealing the outcome.

Minshew completed 24 of 41 passes for 251 yards with an interception as Indianapolis stayed in contention for an AFC wild card. Michael Pittman was his favorite target with 10 receptions for 107 yards. Indianapolis outgained the Buccaneers 394-298.

Mayfield hit on 20 of 30 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Rachaad White rushed 15 times for 100 yards, while Evans grabbed six passes for 70 yards and a pair of scores.

Each team kicked a field goal on its opening drive. Tampa Bay chewed up the first 7:32 of the game to set up McLaughlin’s 21-yard field goal, while Indianapolis countered with Matt Gay’s 46-yarder at the 3:01 mark of the first quarter.

The Colts played complementary football on their next possession. After Ronnie Harrison intercepted Mayfield and returned it to the Buccaneers’ 41, Indianapolis cashed in when Taylor powered in from the 4 with 11 seconds remaining.

Minshew made it three scores in as many possessions with 9:36 left in the half, scoring on a 2-yard run to cap a 10-play, 62-yard drive. But Tampa Bay responded with its first touchdown, turning Carlton Davis’ interception of Minshew into a 1-yard strike from Mayfield to Evans. That got it within 17-10 at the break.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Isaiah Winstead (2) holds onto the ankle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (1) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs add RB Rachaad White (knee) to injury report

Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting running back Rachaad White was added to the team’s injury report on Saturday due to a knee injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game at the Indianapolis Colts.

White was not listed on the injury reports Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

The team also ruled out rookie defensive lineman Mike Greene (calf) on Saturday after he was listed as questionable. Greene, 24, did not practice all week. He has six tackles in 10 games (two starts).

White, 24, has started all 10 games this season and rushed 141 times for 459 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 354 yards and one score.

Tampa Bay selected White in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He started eight of 17 games last season, totaling 129 carries for 481 yards and one TD, and 50 receptions for 290 yards and two scores.

On Friday, the Bucs (4-6) ruled out linebacker Lavonte David (groin) and cornerback Jamel Dean (ankle/foot) for Sunday’s game.

The Colts (5-5) ruled out cornerback JuJu Brents (quadriceps), center Ryan Kelly (concussion) and tight end Drew Ogletree (foot) on Friday.

–Field Level Media

Aug 3, 2023; Tampa Bay, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) participates in training camp at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs not signing WR Mike Evans to extension

Despite Mike Evans’ Saturday deadline to sign a contract extension, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be re-signing the star wide receiver, according to ESPN.

Per the ESPN report, the Bucs had not offered a deal since Evans, 30, went public with his contract demands.

Evans, 30, will play out the final season of a five-year, $82.5 million extension signed in March 2018. He received a $1.5 million roster bonus in March and will earn a $13 million base salary this season. Tampa Bay opens the season Sunday at the Miinnesota Vikings.

The Bucs and Evans have engaged in negotiations the last two years, ranging from short- to long-term offers. The Bucs could attempt to re-sign Evans when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.

Those close to the situation believe it is ownership and not the front office that is behind the decision to not offer an extension, per ESPN.

Evans is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and the only player in NFL history to begin a career with nine consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He won Super Bowl LV with the Bucs and is by far the franchise’s all-time leader in catches (683), receiving yards (10,425) and touchdown receptions (81).

–Field Level Media

Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Pittsburgh defensive lineman Calijah Kancey (DL09) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs rookie Calijah Kancey’s calf injury not serious

The right calf injury that sidelined Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive end Calijah Kancey on Sunday will not cause him to miss the start of the season, according to multiple reports.

Kancey underwent an MRI exam on his calf on Monday and it showed no serious damage, according to the Tampa Bay Times. ESPN later reported the injury should keep Kancey out “a few weeks.” The team’s first-round draft pick had a noncontact injury which coach Todd Bowles called a calf strain after Sunday’s practice.

The injury occurred during training camp as Kancey, 22, was turning the corner on a drill. He pulled his right leg up, then hopped forward without putting weight on the leg. He grabbed his lower leg toward his calf before being helped onto a cart and taken off the field.

Kancey, the 19th pick overall in this year’s draft and a Miami native, raised eyebrows when he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He played three years at Pitt. In 2022, he earned first-team All-America honors with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in 11 games, becoming Pitt’s first unanimous All-America selection since Aaron Donald.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Genard Avery (58) celebrates with Eagles middle linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) after a sack against the Washington Football Team during the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs place LB Genard Avery on IR, promote WR Deven Thompkins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have promoted wide receiver Deven Thompkins to the active roster from the practice squad and placed Genard Avery, a linebacker, on injured reserve.

The team announced the moves on Friday. The Buccaneers (6-8) are scheduled to play the Arizona Cardinals (4-10) on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Avery, 27, did not practice this week due to an abdomen/oblique injury.

He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2018 by the Cleveland Browns, who traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2019 season. He just finished a four-year rookie deal worth $2.7 million.

Avery was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in March. After being released in August, he signed with Tampa Bay.

He has appeared in nine games this season for the Bucs, recording five tackles and a sack.

Thompkins, 23, an undrafted wide receiver out of Utah State, is primarily a punt and kick returner for Tampa Bay. He has appeared in two games this season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) runs with the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs hold off Falcons late rally to snap losing streak

Leonard Fournette reeled in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady and rushed for another 1-yard score to fuel the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 21-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Fournette had 10 catches for 83 yards for the Buccaneers (3-2), who held a decisive 421-261 edge in total yards en route to snapping their two-game losing skid.

Brady completed 35 of 52 passes for 351 to improve to 10-0 all-time in the regular season against Atlanta. He also famously rallied the New England Patriots from 25 points down to a 34-28 overtime victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Atlanta’s Marcus Mariota completed 14 of 25 passes for 147 yards. He connected with Olamide Zaccheaus over the middle for a 19-yard touchdown pass and found KhaDarel Hodge for the subsequent two-point conversion, trimming the Buccaneers’ lead to 21-15 with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons committed penalties on successive third-down plays to extend Tampa Bay’s ensuing drive. A.J. Terrell was whistled for holding while Grady Jarrett was flagged for roughing the passer while completing a sack on Brady.

Avery Williams rushed for an 8-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for the Falcons (2-3), who saw their two-game winning streak come to a halt.

Fournette opened the scoring early in the second quarter after rushing in for a 1-yard touchdown. The surge capped a 13-play, 88-yard drive.

Ryan Succop drilled a 21-yard field goal to increase Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-0 with 1:18 left.

Atlanta’s attempt to answer was unsuccessful after Younghoe Koo’s bid for a 52-yard field goal sailed wide right.

Brady connected with Fournette on a pair of passes to set up Succop, who made a 44-yard field goal as time expired.

Fournette reeled in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brady to cap an 11-play, 74-yard drive midway into the third quarter. Brady then found former Falcons wideout Russell Gage over the middle for the two-point conversion, increasing Tampa Bay’s lead to 21-0.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) is pressured by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton (27) in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers face Falcons, out to end two-game skid

Early NFC South supremacy is at stake on Sunday afternoon when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons.

It is far from the expected duel atop the division, even from just a few weeks ago. Then again, perhaps a bigger surprise is the reality that the Buccaneers (2-2) have lost two in a row and at home, no less.

“Yeah, you never want to lose back-to-back games,” Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin said. “Like I said, it’s a long year and we have a lot of prepared guys on our team, so I’m confident in our ability to kind of come together as a team and put it together.”

Few players in the NFL are as prepared as Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who missed practice on Wednesday. The 45-year-old played through a right shoulder and finger injury during Tampa Bay’s 41-31 setback to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Brady downplayed the injuries Wednesday by providing a medical update during his weekly SiriusXM podcast with Jim Gray.

“My shoulder’s doing OK,” Brady said. “You know, just some bumps and bruises and I kind of took a hit there on it. Got some treatment today. Got a little bit last night. So I’m sure I’ll be fine in the end.”

Brady threw for just one touchdown in each of the Buccaneers’ first three games before finding the end zone three times to go along with 385 yards passing against the Chiefs. The three-time NFL MVP flustered the Falcons in two games last season to the tune of 644 yards passing and nine touchdowns.

The Bucs’ Mike Evans reeled in eight receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns versus Kansas City last week. He also found the end zone on two occasions in Tampa Bay’s 48-25 victory over Atlanta on Sept. 19, 2021.

Julio Jones is in line to play in his first career game against Atlanta. He is the Falcons’ franchise leader in catches (848) and receiving yards (12,896), while also ranking second in club history with 60 receiving touchdowns.

Jones (knee) joined Godwin (knee), former Falcon Russell Gage (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) in being limited in Wednesday’s practice, while fellow wideout Cole Beasley announced his retirement earlier in the day after playing just two games with the team.

Left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) also was limited in Wednesday’s practice, while tight end Cameron Brate (concussion), safety Logan Ryan (foot) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (foot) did not participate.

Atlanta (2-2) will be hard-pressed to snap a four-game losing skid in the series after placing versatile running back Cordarrelle Patterson on injured reserve. Patterson was nursing an ailing knee while rushing for 38 yards in the Falcons’ 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Rookie running back Tyler Allgeier stepped up and accumulated 104 scrimmage yards (84 rushing, 20 receiving) against the Browns. Caleb Huntley added 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Atlanta, which ranks fourth in the NFL with 168.0 rushing yards per game after finishing 31st with an 85.4 average in 2021.

“There are a lot of things we’ve changed behind the scenes offensively,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said, when asked what changed from last year’s team.

“We have different personnel, guys who needed to develop and we’re very pleased with the guys who were here last year.”

Tight end Kyle Pitts (hamstring) and punter Bradley Pinion (personal) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice for Atlanta.

Feleipe Franks worked with the first-team offense in place of Pitts, who caught one of four targets for 25 yards Sunday. He has 10 receptions for 150 yards and no touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) waits in the tunnel before playing the Los Angeles Rams during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady returns to training camp

Tom Brady returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training facility Monday and was expected to practice for the first time since leaving the club for personal reasons on Aug. 11, per multiple reports.

Coach Todd Bowles confirmed Sunday that the veteran quarterback would be rejoining the team this week.

Bowles also said he was not sure whether Brady would play in the Bucs’ preseason finale Saturday at Indianapolis.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion has been absent from training camp since being excused from practice on Aug. 11. At the time, Bowles said Brady would be away for personal reasons until “sometime after” Tampa Bay’s second preseason game.

The Buccaneers open the regular season on Sept. 11 on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.

Brady, who turned 45 earlier this month, led the NFL with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes in 2021.

The three-time MVP and 15-time Pro Bowl selection is the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yards, attempts and completions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) reacts after making a catch during the fist quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Chris Godwin practices for first time since surgery

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin practiced Friday for the first time since surgery in January to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee.

With a brace on the knee, Godwin did some straight-line running and participated in positional drills but did not join the 11-on-11 workouts, according to The Athletic.

Godwin, 26, caught a career-high 98 passes for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 starts last season before sustaining the season-ending injury in Week 15.

The Buccaneers re-signed him to a three-year deal worth a reported $60 million, with $40 million fully guaranteed, in March.

Since he was drafted in the third round in 2017, Godwin has 342 receptions for 4,643 yards and 29 touchdowns. In 2019, he was named to the Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro. He capped the 2020 season with a victory in Super Bowl LV.

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Travis Jonsen (16) runs with the ball during organized team activities at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers release WR Travis Jonsen after DUI charge

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released wide receiver Travis Jonsen on Tuesday, one day after he was taken into custody on a misdemeanor driving-under-the-influence charge.

Tampa police said officers spotted Jonsen driving his car in a manner “indicative of impairment.” He was stopped and arrested at 3:18 a.m.

Jonsen, 25, refused to take a breath test, according to the news release from Tampa police. He posted a $500 bond and was released from jail.

Jonsen has been a practice squad player with the Bucs over parts of the past two seasons. He was signed as an undrafted free agent from Montana State.

–Field Level Media