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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Release Week 12 Depth Chart: Hayes, Merriweather Debut

The Buccaneers played seven different rookies on defense at various times in San Francisco in Week 11, with CB Josh Hayes and S Kaevon Merriweather seeing the first defensive snaps of their careers

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Each week during the regular season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' communications department publishes a "Game Release" to aid the media in coverage of their upcoming game. Within that release are a number of documents regarding the player roster, including a depth chart, which lists the pecking order at every position on offense, defense and special teams.

Each game week, we will be taking a closer look at that depth chart, pointing out any changes or relevant notes from the previous game. Let's start on offense. Rookies are marked with an asterisk. Players we will be discussing in depth are highlighted in bold text.


  • WR: Mike Evans, Trey Palmer *, Rakim Jarrett *
  • WR: Chris Godwin, Deven Thompkins
  • LT: Tristan Wirfs, Justin Skule
  • LG: Matt Feiler, Aaron Stinnie
  • C: Robert Hainsey
  • RG: Cody Mauch *, Nick Leverett
  • RT: Luke Goedeke, Brandon Walton
  • TE: Cade Otton, David Wells
  • TE: Ko Kieft, Payne Durham *
  • QB: Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask, John Wolford
  • RB: Rachaad White, Chase Edmonds, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Sean Tucker *

Tackle Tristan Wirfs missed some time on offense for the first time this season after playing all 585 snaps through the first nine games of the season. A leg injury in the third quarter in San Francisco briefly forced him off the field and he was replaced at left tackle by Justin Skule, who saw his first offensive snaps of the season. That drive ended two plays later and Wirfs was back in the mix when the Bucs' next drive began. At left guard, Aaron Stinnie logged his fourth straight start, even with Matt Feiler returning to full participation in practice last week. Feiler was declared inactive for the game.

Veteran Chase Edmonds continued to get all of the reserve work in the backfield, though starter Rachaad White was on the field for 80% of the Bucs' plays. Edmonds got 15 snaps and got the ball on five of them, producing a total of 19 yards. Rookie Sean Tucker was active but only played on special teams and fourth-year man Ke'Shawn Vaughn was inactive.

Tight end Ko Kieft got his first start in four weeks in a two-TE alignment with Cade Otton. However, he played only nine snaps to 12 for rookie Payne Durham. Durham was targeted twice while on the field and caught both passes for 13 yards.

Rookie wide receiver Rakim Jarrett was given 14 snaps for the second week in a row, and on one of them he caught a career-long 41-yard pass. The Buccaneers utilized a lot of three-receiver sets, with Trey Palmer playing 72% of the snaps, which was just a bit lower of a snap share than starters Chris Godwin (80%) and Mike Evans (79%).


  • DL: Calijah Kancey *, Mike Greene
  • NT: Vita Vea, Greg Gaines
  • DL: Logan Hall, William Gholston
  • OLB: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Yaya Diaby *, Markees Watts *
  • ILB: Devin White, K.J. Britt
  • ILB: Lavonte David, SirVocea Dennis *
  • OLB: Shaquil Barrett, Anthony Nelson, Cam Gill
  • CB: Jamel Dean, Zyon McCollum
  • CB: Carlton Davis, Dee Delaney, Josh Hayes *
  • S: Antoine Winfield Jr., Kaevon Merriweather *
  • S: Ryan Neal, Christian Izien *

With starter Ryan Neal sidelined by a thumb injury, it was undrafted rookie Kaevon Merriweather, and not versatile veteran Dee Delaney, who started next to Antoine Winfield Jr. in the back end of the defense. Delaney did get some action at the safety position but was out-snapped by Merriweather, 34-20. That marked the first action on defense this season for Merriweather, who contributed four tackles.

Fellow rookie Josh Hayes, a sixth-round draft pick, also received his first NFL playing time on defense, though that wasn't the plan going into the game. Second-year man Zyon McCollum, who has started in place of both Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean this season, was already in the game due to Dean's hip injury, so it was Hayes who got the call when Davis was also knocked out of the contest. Hayes played 15 snaps and had three tackles.

The Buccaneers used a five-man rotation at outside linebacker in San Francisco after getting all six of their edge rushers into the mix against Tennessee in Week 10. Undrafted rookie Markees Watts was active for the second week in a row, this time in place of Cam Gill, who was inactive. However, Watts only got three snaps in the rotation. Shaquil Barrett once again led that group with 39 snaps, or 65% of the total, and contributed six tackles and a tackle for loss. Rookie Yaya Diaby logged 21 snaps and was once again productive when on the field, this time with his first two-sack game, plus three tackles for loss.


  • P: Jake Camarda
  • PK: Chase McLaughlin
  • KO: Jake Camarda
  • H: Jake Camarda
  • LS: Zach Triner
  • PR: Deven Thompkins, Trey Palmer *
  • KR: Deven Thompkins, Rachaad White

After replacing Gill on the active list, Watts also soaked up Gill's usual snaps on special teams, participating in 17 of the 22 plays. Rookie linebacker SirVocea Dennis was pressed into action for 17 snaps on defense after an injury to Lavonte David but still tied K.J. Britt for the most snaps on special teams, with 20. Both Dennis and Britt had a solo tackle in kick coverage.

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