Brate brought in his only target for a 15-yard touchdown in the Buccaneers' 34-29 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. O.J. Howard was ultimately declared active for the contest after coming in questionable with a knee injury, so Brate was expected to serve in a secondary role. However, it appeared he might make a bigger impact early on, when he started the scoring on the afternoon with a 15-yard scoring reception to cap off an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive. That would ultimately prove to be it for Brate, though, as he didn't see another target the rest of the day despite the fact that Jameis Winston put the ball up 41 times. He'll look to carve out more of a role in a Week 7 interconference battle against the Browns, although Howard's continued success and the team's plethora of other capable pass catchers is likely to make that difficult.
Brate will likely resume No. 2 tight end duties Sunday in Atlanta with O.J. Howard (knee) expected to return from a one-game absence, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. After Howard exited early in the Week 4 blowout loss to the Bears with an MCL sprain, Brate stepped in to handle most of the snaps at tight end, finishing the day with three receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown. The Buccaneers benefited from a bye in Week 5, which appears to have given Howard sufficient time to recover from the injury. Though he's listed as questionable on the team's official injury report, Howard increased optimism about his availability by practicing fully Friday. Howard might face some restrictions as he works back from the injury, however, which could pave the way for Brate to play a decent amount of snaps even if he doesn't start.
Brate is expected to serve as the Buccaneers' lead tight end for at least the Week 6 game against the Falcons while O.J. Howard (knee) is sidelined, Marc Sessler of NFL.com reports. Howard sustained a sprained MCL in Sunday's 48-10 loss to the Bears, with the team projecting their top tight end to miss 2-to-4 weeks with the injury. The timing of Howard's setback is rather fortunate for the Buccaneers, who are on bye Week 5 and could be without his services for as little as one game. With six catches for 63 yards and two scores through four games this season, Brate had already been managing a small role in the Bucs' potent passing attack. He should see a couple extra looks directed his way Week 6 as the team aims to fill the 4-to-5 targets per game Howard had been receiving.
Brate brought in three of four targets for 29 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers' 48-10 loss to the Bears on Sunday. Brate has now scored in consecutive games after only being targeted twice and going catchless over the first pair of contests. The fifth-year tight end could see a significant bump in snaps if the knee injury suffered by O.J. Howard on Sunday causes him to miss any time, but otherwise his fantasy value as compared to the past two seasons appears to have taken a hit due to the latter's emergence in the early portion of the campaign.
Brate didn't draw any targets in Friday's preseason game against the Lions. After catching seven of eight targets for 76 yards through two preseason games, Brate was held off the stat sheet while logging just 13 snaps Friday night. Meanwhile, O.J. Howard got the start and caught both of his targets for 22 yards while playing 27 snaps on offense. The workload split between the two tight ends will need to be monitored into the regular season, starting with a Week 1 road game against the Saints.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||15||6.00|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||29||10.00|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||1||3.40|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||63||43||513||6||29||11.93||87|