Buccaneers camp standout could get playing time this weekend

Parnell Motley, UDFA signing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Parnell Motley, UDFA signing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found one of the best undrafted free agents in the class in Parnell Motley, and he could finally get defensive playing time this week.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have started the 2020 NFL season at 2-1. The offense has been mediocre through two contests, but the defense has been the bright spot for the team.

The young players like Devin White and Sean Murphy-Bunting have taken massive strides after already-impressive rookie seasons, and the defense will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately for Tampa Bay defensively, Sean Murphy-Bunting went down during the game with the Denver Broncos, and a return before this weekend’s matchup with the Chargers is not a given. If SMB is unable to play, the Buccaneer secondary has taken a significant hit, but it will allow other players the chance to step up.

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The apparent replacement for SMB is Mike Edwards, who played an excellent game in relief with an interception, but the Bucs could also bring in other players for depth.

One choice for this additional depth spot could be undrafted free agent Parnell Motley, one of the Buccaneers’ top performers during training camp.

Motley had a great body of work while playing for Oklahoma, but his size and athleticism raised some concerns regarding his viability at the NFL level, but Motley put those worries to rest early on with his camp performance.

Motley played so well during camp that it seems likely that he is the fourth corner on the depth chart from a playing standpoint. Ryan Smith is currently listed in this role due to his special teams prowess, but Motley could be the better coverage option.

If the Buccaneers are without Murphy-Bunting, this could be the perfect opportunity to see what Motley can do in a live-fire situation. The Bucs don’t have a great spot for Motley to play now, but having four consistent coverage corners could take this defense to the next level even if an injury occurs.

Parnell Motley is still in the process of paying his dues, but the time could finally come that he gets an additional chance to prove himself, and the Buccaneers should be extremely excited to see what he can do.

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