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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Release Wild Card Week Depth Chart: Linemen Show Versatility

TE Cade Otton and RB Rachaad White, two of the Bucs' 2022 draft picks, have been playing starter-sized roles for much of the season and are now listed as such on the updated depth chart, though White and Leonard Fournette are still splitting time evenly


Each week during the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' communications department publishes a "Game Release" to aid the media in coverage of their upcoming game. Included in 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. Players we will be discussing in depth are highlighted in bold text.


  • WR: Mike Evans, Russell Gage, Deven Thompkins
  • WR: Chris Godwin, Breshad Perriman
  • LT: Donovan Smith, Brandon Walton
  • LG: Nick Leverett, Luke Goedeke
  • C: Robert Hainsey, John Molchon
  • RG: Shaq Mason
  • RT: Tristan Wirfs
  • TE: Cade Otton, Cameron Brate, Kyle Rudolph, Ko Kieft
  • WR: Julio Jones, Scotty Miller
  • QB: Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask
  • RB: Rachaad White, Leonard Fournette, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Giovani Bernard

Rookie lineman Luke Goedeke started the first seven games of the season at left guard, but in the seventh contest the Buccaneers began alternating Nick Leverett in with him at that spot. Goedeke suffered a foot injury in that same game, at Carolina, and was inactive for the next four weeks. By the time he returned from his injury, Leverett had solidified his hold on the starting job. Goedeke was active but did not play for two more contests, then began seeing limited action as a sixth lineman in jumbo packages.

Goedeke got plenty of action in Week 18, however. With the Bucs locked into the fourth seed in the NFC playoff field, the team was cautious with any injured players and pulled almost all of its starters at halftime. Goedeke, who played right tackle at Central Michigan before the Bucs drafted him in the second round in April, started at that spot while the Bucs rested Pro Bowler Tristan Wirfs and his banged-up ankle. Goedeke was one of only three players to take every snap on offense. Leverett started in his usual spot but later slid to center when Robert Hainsey came out of the game with a hamstring strain. Brandon Walton started at left tackle in place of the injured Smith, then later moved to left guard when practice-squad call-up Justin Skule came in to play left tackle.

In addition, guard John Molchon saw the first regular-season snaps of his career. He entered the game on the 14th offensive snap after Hainsey's injury, taking over at left guard after Leverett's move to the pivot. When Walton moved from left tackle to left guard, Molchon skipped over to right guard, getting veteran starter Shaq Mason out of the game.

Wide receiver Mike Evans was active for the game but did not play due to illness. Rookie Deven Thompkins, who has primarily served as the team's return man since Week 14, started across from Chris Godwin and ended up playing 84% of the offensive snaps. Thompkins had previously only logged 26 snaps on offense, but he got 46 against the Falcons and was the Bucs' most targeted player on offense, as nine passes were thrown his way, resulting in four catches for 25 yards.

Giovani Bernard was Tampa Bay's busiest running back in Week 18, earning 25 snaps, rushing seven times for 28 yards and catching two passes. Ke'Shawn Vaughn was next with 16 snaps but actually got the ball a bit more often, with eight carries and two receptions. Leonard Fournette, the team's leading rusher in 2022, only played three snaps and caught one pass.


  • DL: Akiem Hicks, Pat O'Connor
  • NT: Vita Vea, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Deadrin Senat
  • DL: William Gholston, Logan Hall
  • OLB: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Carl Nassib
  • ILB: Devin White, K.J. Britt
  • ILB: Lavonte David, J.J. Russell
  • OLB: Anthony Nelson
  • CB: Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Anthony Chesley
  • CB: Carlton Davis, Zyon McCollum
  • S: Antoine Winfield Jr., Logan Ryan, Dee Delaney
  • S: Mike Edwards, Keanu Neal

Through the first 17 weeks of the season, inside linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White had combined to play 2,105 of a possible 2,106 snaps at the two starting positions. Against the Flacons, they each took a seat after playing 23 snaps, which left the other 45 to second-year man K.J. Britt and rookie J.J. Russell. It was the first NFL regular-season action on defense for Russell, who finished with four tackles.

The only defender who played all 68 defensive snaps in Week 18 was safety Antoine Winfield Jr., and that was basically out of necessity. With Logan Ryan inactive for the game and Keanu Neal leaving with a hip injury after 31 snaps, the Bucs were "out of bodies," as Head Coach Todd Bowles said on Monday. Winfield finished the game with a team-leading 13 tackles and also had a quarterback hit.

Outside linebackers Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka finally got a little rest after playing virtually every defensive snap over the previous three games. The rotational help came from Ifeadi Odenigbo, who had been elevated from the practice squad for the game. Odenigbo absorbed 32 snaps, allowing Nelson and Tryon-Shoyinka to play just 75% and 72% of the total time on defense, respectively. Odenigbo logged one tackle for loss in the game.

Rookie defensive lineman Logan Hall was on the field for 45 defensive snaps, the highest total of his rookie season. He recorded two tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Starting defensive lineman Akiem Hicks only stayed on the field for 13 snaps but was responsible for the Bucs' only sack. (One other sack officially went into the books when Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder lost the ball as he cocked his arm to throw, but it wasn't credited to any specific defender.)


  • P: Jake Camarda
  • PK: Ryan Succop
  • KO: Jake Camarda
  • H: Jake Camarda
  • LS: Zach Triner
  • PR: Deven Thompkins, Scotty Miller
  • KR: Deven Thompkins, Rachaad White, Giovani Bernard

Britt and Russell didn't get time off from their prominent special teams gigs when they came in to play defense. Both still were on the field for 25 of the Bucs' 28 special teams snaps – all of the kick and coverage plays except for the placekicks – the most by anybody on the roster. The same was true for rookie corner Zyon McCollum, who relieved Jamel Dean early in the game and played 61 defensive snaps while still drawing 21 plays on special teams.

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