The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had hoped to be preparing for a trip to Los Angeles on the first weekend in February but Sunday's loss in the Divisional Round ended their dreams of a Super Bowl repeat. Still, a large contingent of Tampa Bay players will have some football left that weekend, namely the 2022 Pro Bowl, which will be played in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 6.
That contingent got larger on Tuesday when three Buccaneers – wide receiver Mike Evans, inside linebacker Devin White and safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. – were added to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster as alternates. They replace previously selected players who will not be playing in the game due to injuries or advancement in the playoffs.
The Buccaneers now have eight players on the Pro Bowl roster, though tackle Tristan Wirfs and quarterback Tom Brady will not play in the game due to an ankle injury and shoulder aggravation, respectively. That ties for the second highest total of Pro Bowlers the Bucs have had in a single season, and it's the team's biggest group of all-stars in more than two decades. The 2000 Tampa Bay team sent nine players to the Pro Bowl and the 1997 squad put eight players into the game.
In addition to Wirfs, the other four Buccaneers originally named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster in December are outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, quarterback Tom Brady, center Ryan Jensen and guard Ali Marpet. Brady was selected for an NFL record 15th time while Barrett is making a return trip after first making the Pro Bowl after the 2019 season. Wirfs, Jensen and Marpet were all first-time selections. Evans, White and Winfield were all announced as first alternates when the initial rosters were revealed.
This is the fourth Pro Bowl invitation for Evans, who was also chosen after the 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons. That ties former Buccaneers tight end Jimmie Giles for the second most selections in franchise history among offensive players; only former fullback Mike Alstott had more, with six.
White and Winfield are each on the Pro Bowl roster for the first time in their NFL careers. White made it at the end of his third season while Winfield got in in Year Two.
Evans extended his NFL record to eight straight seasons at the beginning of his career in which he topped 1,000 receiving yards, finishing the 2021 regular season with 74 catches for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 14 scores set a new Buccaneers single-season record and ranked second in the NFL behind Cooper Kupp's 16. Evans then added 17 catches for 236 yards and two more touchdowns in his two postseason outings.
White led the Buccaneers with 128 tackles and added 3.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery during the regular season. He added 13 stops, two tackles for loss, four QB hits and two passes defensed in a pair of playoff contests. White was a second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection in 2020.
Winfield was one of the Bucs' most productive players in the two-game postseason run, tying for the team lead with 14 tackle sand adding a sack, two quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In the regular season, he finished third on the team with 88 tackles and recorded 2.0 sacks, four tackle sfor loss, three quarterback hits, two interceptions, six passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.