Injuries are testing the Buccaneers’ depth at multiple positions and safety is no exception.
With Major Wright and D.J. Swearinger already inactive last week, starting free safety Bradley McDougald’s early concussion resulted in backup Keith Tandy getting his most extensive playing time of the season.
The fourth-year pro’s most memorable moment from the game wasn’t a good one: misplaying his red zone coverage and leaving Giants receiver Rueben Randle wide open for a first-quarter touchdown.
Tandy ended up on the field for 58 of the Bucs’ 75 defensive snaps and managed to record a career-high eight tackles, including one for a loss. The only other game he’s played double-digit snaps this season came Week 2 in New Orleans, where he was in on 20.
Depending upon the recoveries of McDougald (concussion), Swearinger (toe) and Wright (hamstring), Tandy may be pressed back into a large role again Sunday against Dallas. McDougald and Wright were full participants in Friday’s practice and listed as questionable. Swearinger only practiced on a limited basis Monday this week and is listed as doubtful.
In the event of being thin at safety, the Bucs also made a move Tuesday to sign young, inexperienced Kimario McFadden.
Head coach Lovie Smith was asked to assess Tandy’s performance last weekend and how he felt going forward with the safety getting more playing time again against Dallas.
“ very pleased with [him],” Smith said. “We have an idea of what type of play we’re going to get from Keith. He’s consistent, smart guy, can play a couple of different positions. It’s good to have a guy like that when you are down two, three safeties. He had played [before this season]. We feel very comfortable with him.”