Ke’Shawn Vaughn with a tough start to his rookie season

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

2020 third-round pick for the Buccaneers, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, is off to a rough start to his NFL career with concerns due to COVID-19.

The path to becoming the starting third-down back for the Buccaneers has become that much more difficult for running back, Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Vaughn was already a long shot at earning this spot, but unfortunate news makes that possibility even more difficult.

Two days ago, Vaughn was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list for Tampa Bay, according to Ian Rapoport on Twitter. The details have mostly been vague, but the news is grim regardless.

Vaughn may not necessarily have the virus, but there was enough of a scare that the team decided to wait before he is allowed to participate at camp. Player safety is paramount, but the impacts go deeper for Vaughn than just his health.

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Assuming that he can recover safely and return to camp as soon as it is safe for all involved, as many as two weeks could have passed before Vaughn can show up. This time is critical for the rookies to get reps in and grow familiar with the system, and a two-week break will be detrimental.

The competition hasn’t begun yet, but Vaughn and Dare Ogunbowale are about to be in the spotlight every week for the role as the starting receiving back. Ogunbowale is defending his previous position, while Vaughn is the explosive college player that is currently a dark horse candidate.

Given that Vaughn can’t currently compete, Ogunbowale will start as the third-down back unopposed, and every rep with Tom Brady is an extreme advantage.

This is a difficult situation to face for anyone, but it will be especially hard for a rookie. The younger players are just trying to carve out their spot on the team, and sometimes the first two weeks can set the tone for the rest of camp.

News like this is a tough hand to receive at the start of a career, but Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a hard worker and will bounce back from this. Bucs fans should keep their third-round pick in their thoughts and prayers and look forward to his eventual return.