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 – 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.”
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: email@example.com
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