As nice as it would be to see Cameron Brate stay on the field for the Buccaneers for the whole game, the Bucs probably need to make a change.
Cameron Brate suffering a concussion was an extremely scary moment for the Buccaneers and their fanbase, especially during a time when concussions are rightfully getting more attention from the rest of the NFL.
Brate being able to get back on the field and play has been impressive, but the issue with this is that the Cameron Brate of the past few years has not been present in 2022.
Even before the concussion, Brate was often absent, especially apparent in the red zone. Brate has been great in this area throughout most of his career, and him disappearing in this location when Rob Gronkowski retires and the Bucs already struggle here is an issue.
Brate doesn’t need to be gone, but he also doesn’t need to be the starter for Tampa.
Cade Otton has earned the starting tight end role. While he hasn’t been flashy, he has been far better than a rookie tight end has any business being, and his role taking a step back when Brate returned from injury was a mistake.
One has to hope that Brate isn’t going to continue cutting into this share of reps for Otton after the bye week as well. Tampa can’t afford to fix what isn’t broken at this point, and sticking with the better tight end with a higher upside makes too much sense for this Tampa team.
If Cameron Brate can get back to his old self and produce in the red zone, the Buccaneers would love to have him, but Otton needs to remain the main-reps player until that time.
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