Jaelon Darden, WR (TB)

Posts 67 return yards before exit

Darden, who exited Sunday's divisional-round loss to the Rams in the fourth quarter with a concussion, returned four kickoffs for 62 yards and one punt for five yards prior to his injury. He completed his rookie season with six receptions for 43 yards on 12 targets, one carry for 11 yards and 501 combined return yards across nine games.

The Bucs have high hopes for Darden as an eventual downfield threat, but given the depth the team enjoyed at receiver most of the season, 2021 was more about acclimating the North Texas product to the speed of the NFL. That was primarily accomplished through getting Darden consistent work on returns as the season unfolded, and his solid efforts in that capacity helped lead to the eventual cut of fellow wideout/returner Jaydon Mickens. Darden should have more opportunities than the 87 total snaps he logged from scrimmage during his rookie campaign come 2022, particularly if Chris Godwin (knee) and Breshad Perriman (hip) depart via free agency.

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