Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs may have to choose between healthy Chris Conte, Keith Tandy at safety

TAMPA — All signs point to Chris Conte returning healthy this week after missing two games with a chest injury, leaving the Bucs with a big decision: Does he or Keith Tandy start at safety against the Cowboys on Sunday night?

Conte had two key interceptions at the start of the Bucs' five-game winning streak, getting a pick-six against Chicago and an end-zone pick against the Chiefs, but Tandy has been just as good, coming up with interceptions on the final drives to clinch wins against the Chargers and Saints.

Tandy had a hand in another interception Sunday as he anticipated a pass against the Saints, jumped the route and deflected a pass that was picked off by CB Brent Grimes for the second of the Bucs' three interceptions.

The Bucs could rotate both safeties in with fellow starter Bradley McDougald, but their general plan in the secondary has been to identify a starter and play him every snap.

TRANSACTION: The Bucs signaled Conte's return by waiving veteran S Major Wright, who had joined the team two weeks ago for depth after Conte's injury. Wright played exclusively on special teams, tying for the team high Sunday with 17 snaps. The Bucs re-signed DT John Hughes, who had been waived Saturday to make room for other signings. Hughes has six tackles in five games with the Bucs this season as a backup.

THIS AND THAT: The Bucs beat the Cowboys in Tampa last season but had lost five straight to them before that. The last time the Bucs beat the Cowboys in Texas was 2001, when QB Brad Johnson ran for a late score in a 10-6 victory. … Tandy is a finalist for the NFL's Clutch Performer of the Week award for his interception to seal Sunday's win. … Bucs rookies spent time at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, spreading holiday cheer with patients on their day off from practice.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs may have to choose between healthy Chris Conte, Keith Tandy at safety 12/13/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 8:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  2. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  3. Florida starter under center still under wraps


    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  4. Jones: What Bucs need in final preseason games, more or less


    That's it. Let's start the season. Start it right now.

    Tom Jones wants to see less of Jameis Winston playing hot potato with the football and throwing it up for anyone to catch. [Getty Images]
  5. Barts Mr Peabody the likely favorite in Derby Lane's T.L. Weaver finale


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick and Rhonda Bartley have a date Saturday night. It may turn into a date with destiny.