TAMPA — The Bucs had a lot of heroes in Sunday’s 27-17 win over the Chicago Bears. Mike Evans had six catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had two sacks. Shaquil Barrett had a sack and an interception return for a touchdown to ice the game.
But the MVP of the game may have been punter Jake Camarda.
The second-year pro from Georgia dropped three of his four punts inside the 20-yard line, including the last one inside the 10. He finished third in Week 2 in yards per punt (52.8 average) and fifth in net yards per punt (47.8), including a booming 72-yarder that flipped field position. It was the third-longest punt in club history.
For that performance, Camarda was named the NFC’s special teams player of the week.
In addition, Camarda converted all five of his kickoffs into touchbacks.
“Jake was huge, from the kickoffs in the end zone to the punts and him booming them,” coach Todd Bowles said. “He was getting them to the sideline, as well. That was about as big for us as anybody (Sunday). He had a heck of a ballgame.”
One of Carmada’s biggest plays didn’t involve his punting leg. He recovered a blocked field goal attempt by Chase McLaughlin, preventing a scoop-and-score opportunity for the Bears.
Camarda’s career is off to a great start. He ranks second in NFL history in gross average (49.4) and seventh in net average (42.3) among players with 85 or more punts.
On Wednesday, the Bucs placed running back Chase Edmonds, who sustained a knee sprain Sunday, on injured reserve and promoted defensive lineman Pat O’Connor, who was signed as a free agent in 2017, to the active roster.
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