Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Deadrin Senat had the Week 5 game the Atlanta Falcons circled, and he made the most of it.
Senat tallied one of the Bucs’ five sacks against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, October 9, in a 21-15 victory. He spent part of the 2021 season with the Falcons before the team waived him. Senat then played in the USFL this spring before the Bucs signed him this year, and the Bucs moved him up from the practice squad to the roster on September 21.
“I had checked this team [on the calendar],” Senat told Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “We play them twice, but I was like … they let me go at my lowest moment, with me being hurt and just me going through what I had been through. And I understand that’s the name of the business, but just making plays and actually winning against them, it just means everything to me.”
Besides Senat’s sack, Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota got sacked Antoine Winfield Jr., Vita Vea, Joe Tyron-Shoyinka, and Logan Hall.
Todd Bowles Offers Little Information on Slew of Injuries
Amid the Bucs’ defensive resurgence in Week 5, three losses came along with it.
Defensive backs Carlton Davis III, Sea Murphy-Bunting, and Mike Edwards all sustained injuries in that order during the second half on Sunday, October 9 against the Atlanta Falcons. Davis injured a hip, Murphy-Bunting hurt a quad, and Edwards injured a “hand/wrist” according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles had little more to offer as the team faces questions about the defense’s health going into Week 6.
“Carlton’s got a hip and Sean’s got a quad right now, that I know of,” Bowles told reporters afterward. “Mike should be fine, I didn’t hear about him yet. They didn’t give me the full report on Mike.”
Tampa Bay’s defense pitched a shutout for the first half, but things went south as the key defensive backs went down. Atlanta scored two touchdowns in the second half, which whittled a 21-0 difference to six points.
Bucs rookie defensive back Zyon McCollum filled in amid the injuries. He tallied two tackles in the game.
“Corner-wise, we’ll look at the tape,” Bowles said. “But he got some experience, he got his feet wet, and the game wasn’t too big for him.”
Tampa Bay came into the game already shorthanded at defensive back with an injury to Logan Ryan (foot) in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Healthy remaining Bucs defensive backs include Antoine Winfield Jr., Jamel Dean, Keanu Neal, and Dee Delaney.
Bowles: ‘It’s Not Concerning’
Bowles didn’t pin the Falcons second-half comeback on the Bucs defense alone amid injuries.
“It’s not concerning. I don’t think we executed in the third quarter,” Bowles told reporters. “In the first half, we kept their defense on the field. Second half, our offense going three-and-out, and they kept our defense on the field, and fatigue set in on both sides I think.”
Tampa Bay’s offense simply sputtered with three punts on three-and-outs in the second half. The only two sustained drives by the Bucs offense came at the beginning and end of the half, and a controversial roughing the passer penalty arguably saved the latter drive.
“Tough ball game. Wins are hard to come by in this league,” Bowles said. “We’re playing for first place. We’re happy we got it.”
The Bucs defense held an opponent under 20 points for a fourth time in five games, and the unit limited the Falcons to 261 total yards of offense.