The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. Dating back to the 2019 NFL season, a Buccaneers player has now won the award in three consecutive months, after linebacker Devin White won back-to-back honors in November and December of 2019.
Over three games in the month of September, Winfield Jr. racked up 23 tackles (one for loss), including 15 solo tackles, three quarterback hits, 2.0 sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble. Among all NFL rookies, Winfield Jr. ranks second in tackles and sacks, tied for the lead in forced fumbles and tied for fourth in passes defensed.
After recording a sack in each of the past two games, the Minnesota product became the first rookie defensive back in the NFL to post a sack in consecutive games since Derwin James in 2018. The 2.0 sacks through three games are tied for the most by any defensive back in the NFL this season, along with Jamal Adams, Mike Hilton and Marcus Maye. In addition, his 2.0 sacks are tied for the most by any NFL rookie defensive back through three games, dating back to at least 1982 when sacks became an official statistic. Winfield's 23 tackles are tied for the most by a Buccaneers player through his first three career games since 2000, joining Kwon Alexander (2015).
Winfield Jr. becomes the fourth Buccaneers player, and first defensive back, to earn NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors, joining Lavonte David (2012), Noah Spence (2016) and Devin White (2019, twice).
The Woodlands, Texas, native is part of a defense that ranks fourth in the NFL in yards allowed (308.0 per game), third in rushing yards allowed (70.3 per game), and tied for seventh in points allowed per game (20.3), while tying for the third-most sacks in the NFL (12.0) and the second most tackles for loss (24).