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Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting returned to action on Monday night against the Giants after missing almost nine games with a dislocated elbow that occurred against Dallas in Week 1. Murphy-Bunting came up huge in his first start since coming off injured reserve. He notched seven tackles and a forced fumble as a result of being tested early and often by Giants QB Daniel Jones.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians was extremely pleased with Murphy-Bunting’s first game back.

“Way better than I thought or even expected it to be,” Arians said. “He played really well. He used his arm to punch the ball out with that hand and created a fumble. I think he should have a ton of confidence heading into this week.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Murphy-Bunting was the highest-graded Bucs defender on Monday night. He played almost exclusively outside and earned an 84.1 overall grade and an 85 grade in coverage. Murphy-Bunting was targeted eight times in the game, but surrendered only six catches for 43 yards (7.2 avg.).

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs missed Murphy-Bunting’s tackling on the perimeter during his absence. He secured an 80.3 tackling grade from PFF on Monday night and was physical from the start. Murphy-Bunting didn’t show any ill effects from his elbow, which was sporting a hefty brace.

His teammates were fired up to see the energetic Murphy-Bunting back in the starting lineup, healthy enough to play again.

“Ah man, you can see the difference,” said Bucs outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. “I mean, not saying [anything] about our corners, but he’s one of our starters. And you can tell why. You know, especially that one call that they gave him a PI (pass interference) on. But he did a great job on that. He was just energized.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
13 days ago

Well Scott there went your fab 5 article you spent on drafting CB’s. Tying too much $$ into CB’s is a fools business anyhow. Dolphins- Xavien Howard & Byron Jones $15 mil each Nope. Baltimore Ravens- Marlon Humphrey $19.5 & Marcus Peters $14mil hurt. Phi Eagles – Darius Slay $16.7 and Giants – James Bradberry $14.5 still got roasted Monday Night! Saints- Marcus Lattimore just got paid $$ but still gettin roasted. See foolish business, So let’s enjoy what we got and Go Bucs!

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
Reply to  Captain Sly
13 days ago

Name a CB that doesn’t get roasted at times by Bucs? Lol. It’s arguably best offense in the NFL. Your saying paying them too much doesn’t make sense and I agree for most part but if you don’t pay them enough and have average or less than average inconsistent CB’s it’s hard to be good these days in pass heavy NFl. Then your saying don’t draft which is opposite of paying too much. Lol. He played very well but I wouldn’t get too excited it’s one game and he has lacked any consistency. Let’s hope for Bucs sake he and… Read more »

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
Reply to  fredster
13 days ago

Wait! Wait! Wait! My fab 5 Comment said let’s just “use the CB’s we have” meaning still on rookie contracts, developed in our system, and serviceable. I was just trying to give Scott a little Holiday Hell. I think we both agree that paying $20mil yr to Jalen Ramsey type will not equal better than 7-3 start. Matter of fact it would equal worse because we couldn’t have resigned Gronk, AB, and LVD

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
Reply to  Captain Sly
13 days ago

That’s kind of the point. Davis, SMB and Dean will eventually cost a lot to hang onto them all. So Drafting a CB next year may be the best way to plan for who we may not be able to afford. Then they will have a year to adjust before we may lose SMB, Dean or both. Hopefully worst case is only losing one.

James Taylor
James Taylor(@jptaylor74)
12 days ago

Maybe the Bucs transition and make the secondary the core of their defense instead of the defensive line. JPP and Suh are on the other side of 30. Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead are up for contracts next year and SMB and Jamel Dean are up for contracts the following year. It makes more sense to keep your younger nucleus at secondary and get younger on the defensive line. JTS should be a full time starter next season and you can get a defensive tackle earlier in the draft. You are already paying Shaq and Vea is going to be… Read more »

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
12 days ago

I was pleased to see SMB play without hesitation or caution due to his injury. I’m sure that brace on his arm hindered him a bit, but I never noticed. He looked happy to be back on the field. Now, if we can get Carlton Davis back out there, the “Gravediggers” will finally be intact. Their presence just might make the DC look like less of a “moron”, as some have called him.

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg