The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without one of their top offensive targets in Week 5.
As the Buccaneers brace for an interdivisional matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, they’ll do so without tight end Cameron Brate. The starting tight end was ruled out for Sunday’s matchup due to a concussion, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Bucs ruled out TE Cameron Brate for Sunday’s game against Atlanta due to the concussion he suffered last Sunday night vs. Kansas City,” reported Schefter on Friday, October 7.
The 31-year-old tight end is currently in the league’s concussion protocol after suffering the injury during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He left the game during the first half after appearing to suffer a head injury. However, he returned the game shortly before being ruled out for good at halftime.
Brate ranks fourth on the team in receptions and receiving yards — 11 receptions for 100 yards — and third in targets (19).
As noted by Joey Knight of The Tampa Bay Times, Brate appeared at Friday’s practice with a helmet and was seen doing light agility work.
“Brate appeared at Friday’s practice with a helmet and was seen doing light agility work during the brief practice window open to reporters, but Bowles ruled him out for Sunday,” said Knight.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles made sure to stress that his veteran tight end his doing better following the head injury last week.
“He’s not in play for Sunday right now, but he’s feeling better,” Bowles said.
Buccaneers Likely to Lean Heavily on Otton and Kieft
With Brate out of the mix, the Buccaneers will likely lean heavily on rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft in the lineup. Both tight ends saw extended action following Brate’s injury versus the Chiefs, especially with veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph declared inactive in three of the first four games.
“The way that (Otton and Kieft) practice every day, they don’t have (mental error), they don’t do the wrong thing — they always do the right thing,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said. “That’s what’s special about these two, you can put them in the huddle and feel comfortable that they’ll do the right thing.”
Otton caught three passes for 29 yards, while Kieft caught one pass for 19 yards versus the Chiefs.
In addition to Brate’s absence, the Buccaneers have also ruled out safety Logan Ryan and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks for the Week 5 matchup versus the Falcons.
Tom Brady: ‘A Lot of Bad Football’ Right Now
Over the course of his 23 seasons in the NFL, Tom Brady has seen a lot of football. However, he’s seeing a lot of bad football right now.
“I think there’s a lot of bad football, from what I watch. I’ve watched a lot of bad football,” Brady said on Thursday, October 6. “A lot of poor quality of football – that’s what I see.”
There were 15 teams with a 2-2 record heading into Week 5, with the Indianapolis Colts knocking off the Denver Broncos, 12-9, in the NFL’s first overtime game without a touchdown since 2017. Despite featuring two all-time great quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson, the game was an offensive clunker.
According to Brady’s assessment, the 2-2 Buccaneers would fit that mold.
“I think we feel like we certainly have not played our best football. That’s very true,” Brady said in response Tampa Bay not playing “a complete game” so far this season.