Joe Tryon, so good as a rookie for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they continue seeking ways to get him on the field, will make his first NFL start on Sunday by replacing injured edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.
The former University of Washington outside linebacker, drafted with the 32nd and final pick of the first round, drawa the game-opening assignment against the Los Angeles Rams on the road because Pierre-Paul didn't practice and is unable to play with a shoulder issue.
Tryon has been overly impressive as a pro football player so far, using his 4.68-second, 40-yard dash speed and comparable strength to disrupt opposing backfields, beginning in the preseason. He played a quarter each of the first two games and provided 2 tackles each time out.
"Honestly, we shouldn't lose anything," Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. "We expect Joe to step up and it's something that we've talked about all the time."
Against the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles turned extra creative by keeping his first-team edge rushers Shaquill Barrett and Pierre-Paul in the game yet have Tryon join them — as a quasi nickel cornerback against Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.
More and more, the Bucs front office and coaches feel they got a draft steal by securing the services of the well-rested 6-foot-5, 259-pound Tryon, who opted out of his junior season for the UW in 2020, a move that might have cost him 15 or more draft slots.
Tampa Bay hasn't hesitated to send Tryon onto the field for regular defensive snaps coming off the edge or for special-teams work, logging 44 plays of the latter. He happily does whatever's asked, greatly endearing him to his pro coaches, teammates and the Bucs fan base.
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