Former Buccaneers running back passes away at age 56

Lars Tate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Lars Tate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Lars Tate, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back from 1988-1989, has passed away. The entire Buccaneers community is deeply saddened by the news.

Lars Tate may not have spent a ton of time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that pales in comparison to the limited time he spent alive on this earth. While nothing is official as of this writing, Tate had been diagnosed with throat cancer about a month back, leading many to connect the dots.

Tate was the leading rusher for the Georgia Bulldogs in 1986 and 1987, before the Buccaneers drafted him in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He would rush for 1,056 yards and 15 touchdowns during his two seasons with the Bucs, before being released after training camp in 1990. A career-ending neck injury suffered whilst a member of the Chicago Bears that season would force him to retire from football at age 24.

Perhaps what Tate is  best known for as it pertains to his NFL career is scoring one of the most incredible touchdowns you’re ever likely to see as a rookie in 1988 against the Cardinals.

As today’s athletes are getting progressively bigger, stronger and faster, with emphasis on dazzling spectacles of plays, this highlight will always hold up with the passing of time.

Tate’s son Donavan, who himself followed in his late father’s footsteps to a degree as a former University of Arizona quarterback and San Diego Padres first-round draft pick, announced that his father died on Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tate is survived by Donovan as well as his other two children Stephan and Lauren, along with his domestic partner Kelli Edwards.

We at the Pewter Plank, as well as the entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers family are keeping the family and friends of Lars Tate in our minds, as it’s a life gone far too soon. Rest In Peace.