As the second rookie on this list, Tyler Johnson needs this game as much as the Bucs need him. The Buccaneers are walking a skeleton crew of receivers out tonight, and they will need Johnson to show up on the stat sheet for the first time in his career if they hope to win.
Despite going in the fifth round, Johnson was one of the most-hyped draft picks for the Buccaneers in their 2020 class. After a stellar career at Minnesota, Johnson was pegged to start the year as the WR3 in Tampa Bay.
Unfortunately, numerous injuries and less-than-stellar play in the preseason have left Johnson on the bench for most of the season. Even when he is in, Johnson has only made a minimal impact. That has to change tonight if the Bucs hope to win.
Tampa Bay’s run game is inconsistent, and the Bucs will have to throw the ball to win. Mike Evans and Scotty Miller will hopefully shoulder the workload well, but any small injury could quickly force Johnson into a spotlight role.
It is almost guaranteed that Johnson will be a vital part of the Buccaneer passing game tonight. Four or five targets could quickly come his way, and Johnson must be ready to make the big plays that he was known for in college.
If Tyler Johnson performs well, it will accomplish the dual purpose of keeping viable depth for wide receiver on the roster while also making Tom Brady‘s job more comfortable in a tough matchup.