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 start rookie running back Barber against Falcons

Peyton Barber is brought down on a 3-yard run during the first quarter.


Peyton Barber is brought down on a 3-yard run during the first quarter.

TAMPA — With their top three running backs sidelined by injuries, the Bucs started undrafted rookie Peyton Barber in Thursday's game against the Falcons.

Barber became the Bucs' fourth starting running back in eight games, with Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers all sidelined by injuries. Barber rushed for 84 yards in the win at the 49ers two weeks ago, including a 44-yard touchdown run, but he barely played in Sunday's loss to the Raiders, logging only three snaps.

The team used Barber and veteran Antone Smith on the opening drive — Barber had four carries for 11 yards and Smith had two for 14 yards as part of a 75-yard drive that ended with Jameis Winston's 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans.

Smith, who fumbled on one of his four carries in Sunday's loss, fumbled Thursday on the opening play of the second drive, setting the Falcons up at the Bucs 14. The defense held the Falcons to a field goal, putting Atlanta up 10-7.

INJURIES: Bucs LB Kwon Alexander rarely comes off the field on defense, but he had to Thursday due to a shoulder injury just before halftime. Daryl Smith filled in for him in the nickel defense, with Adarius Glanton playing strongside linebacker and Smith taking over the middle in the base defense. The team had classified Alexander's chance of returning as "probable."

The Bucs lost C Joe Hawley to a left knee injury in the second quarter, with Evan Smith taking over. He had stepped in briefly in three other games, but Hawley was ruled out for the rest of the game Thursday.

TWO MORE: Evans came into the game tied for the NFL lead with six touchdown catches, and he added two more in the first half from Winston. That gives Evans eight touchdowns in eight games, on pace to break his team record of 12, set as a rookie in 2014.

BEEN A WHILE: The Bucs went 75 yards for a touchdown on their opening drive, the first time they'd done that since Week 7 last season.

INACTIVES: The Bucs had Martin and Rodgers inactive, along with DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) and WR Russell Shepard (hip). Rookie offensive linemen Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester were inactive, as usual, as was No. 3 QB Ryan Griffin.

With Shepard sidelined and WR Vincent Jackson on injured reserve, the Bucs dressed only four receivers, with little depth behind Evans and Adam Humphries. The other two receivers entered the game with a combined one catch this season: Cecil Shorts had one and Freddie Martino none.

Evans had five catches for 45 yards in the game's opening 10 minutes, including his NFL-best seventh touchdown of the season.

THIS AND THAT: RB Mike James rejoined the Bucs on Tuesday as a third back and made his season debut on the opening kickoff. James hadn't been with the team in two months and hadn't had a touch in an NFL game in nearly two years. … Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy was in attendance as part of NBC's crew. He chatted on the field with former players Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, who were on hand to welcome John Lynch into the team's Ring of Honor.

Bucs start rookie running back Barber against Falcons 11/03/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2016 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Is Bucs kicker Nick Folk a significant upgrade over Roberto Aguayo?


    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter made it clear.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk is entering his 11th NFL season. He spent three seasons with the Cowboys and seven with the Jets. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  2. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour


    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  3. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  4. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  5. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]