Before the regular season began, the Buccaneers put out their depth chart, and former Syracuse running back Sean Tucker was listed as the second-string running back.
For a player that wasn’t even selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, largely due to a congenital heart defect uncovered at the NFL combine, this was a huge accomplishment in and of itself. But as the saying goes, NFL stands for more than just National Football League; it also stands for Not For Long. Any player can lose their job or role in a moment’s notice. Until Tucker stepped on the field, nothing was certain.
On Sunday, Tucker’s role was clear: he’s the backup running back for Tampa Bay. He played the second-highest number of snaps for any back on the team, trailing only starter Rachaad White. Veteran third-teamer Chase Edmonds tallied just two carries, and depth option Ke’Shawn Vaughn didn’t touch the ball.
In a 20-17 win over the Vikings, Sean Tucker’s final stat line was five carries for 15 yards, as well as two receptions on two targets for nine yards. While this isn’t too impressive, it should be enough for the rookie to keep his second-string role. Tucker’s 3.0 yards per carry beat White’s 2.3 YPC, and both players made two catches on two targets. If anything, this indicates that Tucker could see more work going forward.
Next Sunday at 1:00, the Buccaneers host the Bears. This week, Chicago allowed 92 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground to Green Bay. However, the Bear’s defense struggled to contain running backs when they caught the ball. The Packers’ Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for four receptions, 103 yards, and one TD in the air. That’s an average of over 25 yards per catch. Because of this, sreen passes could be the key to success for Tucker in Week 2.