Buccaneers: Tanner Hudson fighting for all he’s got

Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

It seemed like a foregone conclusion and inevitability that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would keep their best three tight ends from 2020 in the legendary Rob Gronkowski, ol’ reliable Cameron Brate, and former first-round pick O.J. Howard who’s returning from injury. However, Tanner Hudson is not going down without a fight and making a case for the Buccaneers to keep four.

Hudson, like Brate, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buccaneers. Despite being a part of the Bucs since 2019, making the roster his rookie year, he was still considered a bit of a longshot to make the final roster this season. Hudson was on and off the practice squad in 2020, but with the injury to Howard, was elevated to the active roster, and even appeared in Super Bowl LV, receiving a target.

All that said, Hudson is making sure that if he’s going down, he’s not going down without a fight, swinging all the way. During the Buccaneers opening preseason contest with the Cincinnati Bengals, Hudson lead all receivers, on both the Bengals and Bucs, with five catches for 50 yards.

Hudson also displayed a level of grit and determination rarely seen in preseason football, even for roster bubble players. His effort when he caught a Blaine Gabbert pass in the first quarter where he attempted to hurdle the Bengals’ Trayvon Henderson, resulted in the tight end being upended and landing on his head. It also got everyone in Raymond James Stadium and watching at home to notice.

Hudson laid it all out on the line, resulting in the Buccaneers’ first, and only, offensive touchdown of the evening. He sacrificed his body for the team, as well as a roster spot, displaying the type of attitude that reminded everyone why the Bucs have kept him around since 2019.

There is still a lot of camp reps and preseason reps to go. It was initially thought that the tight end room was pretty much set in stone with Brate, Gronk, and Howard. However, Hudson is certainly making a case for the Bucs to keep four, especially when you consider the past health issues of Howard, the current health issues of Brate, and the wear and tear of an aging Gronk.

Tanner Hudson is making sure that he will fight tooth and nail for his roster spot, regardless of public perception, and that has to be commended.

Our pre-preseason roster projection, now with the benefit of hindsight. dark. Next