For the first time in four weeks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a football game.
Tampa Bay torched the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, finishing the week with a 20-6 win and by surging back into the NFC South race. It cannot be overstated how cathartic the win was after watching the team encounter near-misses in almost every single one of their losses.
From blowing a lead against the Falcons on the final drive of the game, to almost beating the Bills on a hail mary, to letting the Lions run away with a game the Bucs should have been leading, the last few weeks have been tough to stomach. Everything came to a head last week when Tampa Bay snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing C.J. Stroud to throw his fifth touchdown pass of the day with less than ten seconds left in the game.
That didn't happen this Sunday, but that didn't mean there wasn't some cause for concern.
Late in the game Baker Mayfield appeared to his his hand on the facemask of a Titans defender. He didn't leave the game, but he was flexing his hand repeatedly throughout the rest of the drive and seemed to be favoring it the rest of the game.
Baker Mayfield gives injury update after win over Titans in Week 10
Todd Bowles confirmed that Baker hit his hand, specifically mentioning it was the thumb that was injured. Rather than allow for speculation, Baker gave an injury update himself while at the podium after the win.
The fact that Baker finished the game despite suffering the injury halfway through the fourth quarter should have been our first positive sign. It's not the first time fans have been forced to hold their breath about a potential injury to Mayfield.
Earlier this year he injured his knee, which has flared up a few different times and caused his apperance on the injury report. Baker has battled injuries his whole career but has rarely missed time because of them, and that's held true this year.
He's been gritty and gutsy all year long, something that the rest of the team has fed off. His thumb is something to keep an eye on, but resting it the week after a win will probably go a long way in getting him ready for a big game next Sunday in San Francisco.