Bucs’ Lavonte David Gets Fined Over Missed Call: Report

Lavonte David

Getty Lavonte David comes off the field with teammate K.J. Britt after the Buccaneers' Week 1 win over Dallas.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David nearly cost his team points in the season opener against Dallas, but his moment of anger will cost him money instead.

The NFL fined David $12,875 “for unsportsmanlike conduct, taking off his helmet and slamming it after a near-interception” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Referees didn’t throw a flag after David’s helmet slamming, Rapoport noted. David’s fine doesn’t prevent him from playing Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

David broke up a third-down pass play in the second quarter when the Bucs led 14-13. No flag on the play spared the Bucs in a 31-29 win as the Cowboys went for a field goal at that point of the game.

Dallas would have nabbed a first down had the referees called a penalty according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. That would have opened the door for the Cowboys to take a 21-13 lead instead of 16-13 at the time. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady may have needed to lead a game-winning touchdown drive instead of setting the team up for the field goal.

“Some had argued that the play should not have been penalized because it’s a foul only if the helmet is removed as part of a celebration, demonstration, or confrontation,” Florio wrote. “It seemed clear at the moment, however, that it was a demonstration of frustration. The league agreed.”

Regardless of the call on the field, the Bucs found a way to pull out a win over the Cowboys and enter Sunday’s game against the Falcons at 1-0.

Carlton Davis III Listed as Questionable

Tampa has one question mark on defense going into Sunday’s NFC South clash with cornerback Carlton Davis III listed as questionable in the injury report.

Davis didn’t practice on Friday due to a hamstring injury. Greg Auman of The Athletic reported on Sunday morning that the Bucs haven’t announced a final decision on Davis.

If Davis plays, Auman anticipates that the Bucs will assign him to cover Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

The Bucs got some good news in the secondary department with safety Jordan Whitehead coming back from a hamstring injury for the game per the injury report. Linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul is also expected to go despite not participating in practice for a couple of days this past week due to a hand injury.

New Long Snapper for Bucs

Tampa’s biggest adjustment for Sunday due to injuries will go largely unnoticed if everything goes smoothly on special teams.

The Bucs signed Carson Tinker to be the long snapper in place of Zach Triner, who injured a tendon in his hand. Triner, who snapped the ball for Ryan Succop’s game-winning field goal against Dallas, will miss 10-12 weeks according to Auman via Sports Illustrated’s All Bucs.

Tinker, who played five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, hasn’t taken a snap in the NFL since 2018. The former Alabama Crimson Tide player spent time on the New York Giants practice squad last season.

“It’s amazing,” Tinker told the media Sept. 16 via USA Today’s Bucs Wire. “God’s plan is unbelievable. To come back here – I’ve been working hard the past few years just waiting on a call. I was with the Giants last year on the practice squad. That was great for me, a great opportunity. To finally get that call is really cool, but at the same time I know I have to keep working and keep continuing to get better. I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

Tinker also shared his story about surviving a massive tornado in Alabama, which Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times wrote about.

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