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2017 Player Recap: Lavonte David

Posted Jan 12, 2018

The defensive captain recovered a league-best five fumbles and passed the 500 career solo tackles mark this season, leading the team in both combined and solo tackles in 2017.

The exclamation point on linebacker Lavonte David’s 2017 season is the multiple forced fumbles and fumble recoveries he had this season. He had five of each. David’s five forced fumbles tied for the second-most by any player this year in the NFL. His five fumble recoveries led the league. His 11 career fumble recoveries are the second-most in team history behind only Ronde Barber.

All in all, David’s forced fumbles and fumble recoveries led to a total of 27 points this season for the Buccaneers. The team scored three touchdowns and two field goals off the turnovers that 54 played a role in.

David also led the Buccaneer defense with 101 combined tackles, 76 of which were solo. It’s worth noting that these numbers came over the course of 14 games. David missed two weeks with an ankle injury before returning in Week 6 with a bang.

In his first game back against the Cardinals in Arizona, David forced not one but two fumbles, recovering one and returning it 21 yards for a touchdown. It was Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer throwing a quick slant to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who was then quickly taken down by David. The linebacker in turn stripped Fitzgerald of the ball as he made the tackle and scooped the ball up to run it in to the end zone.  It was David’s third defensive touchdown of his career. With one more, he will tie for the third-most in franchise history.

He followed that performance up with an equally productive game against the Bills in Buffalo during Week 7. David accounted for 14 combined tackles, 12 of which were solo, and a forced fumble, which he then recovered as well. The Buccaneers took the lead and scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive as a result of the takeaway.

In Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers, David surpassed 500 solo tackles in his career and as of Week 17 of the 2017 season, he leads the league in tackles since 2012 with 547.

David’s voice was heard throughout the locker room this season as well. The defensive captain stepped into the pregame huddle to get the team fired up before Week 10 against the New York Jets. It’s a duty usually taken over by quarterback Jameis Winston, but with the signal-caller out with injury, David gave the impassioned pregame speech on the field instead. The Buccaneers won the game 15-10, snapping a five-game losing streak.

David finished the season with 101 tackles (76 solo, 25 assists) with eight tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown.