TAMPA, Fla. – Mack Brown ran for 149 yards and a touchdown in the rain to lead the Washington Redskins to a 20-13 preseason-closing victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday night.
With Tropical Storm Hermine approaching Florida’s Gold Coast, the game – played in mostly empty Raymond James Stadium – was moved up 24 hours from Thursday, when the NFL’s other 30 teams will conclude the exhibition schedule.
Brown, a first-year pro out of Florida, spearheaded a 245-yard rushing attack and scored on a 60-yard burst in the second quarter. He also broke runs of 21 and 22 yards in helping Washington built a 13-0 halftime lead.
Rookie Nate Sudfeld played the entire game at quarterback for the Redskins, who left Kirk Cousins and the rest of Washington’s projected starters behind in Virginia to attend the team’s Welcome Home Luncheon, an annual event that raises money for a charitable foundation.
Meanwhile, 21 of 22 players listed as regulars on Tampa Bay’s depth chart, including quarterback Jameis Winston, did not dress.
That left plenty of opportunities for young hopefuls such as Brown, who spent parts of last season on Washington’s practice squad, and Bucs receiver Bernard Reedy to state their case for surviving final cuts Saturday, the deadline to trim rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 players.
Winston’s backup, Mike Glennon, started for Tampa Bay and played into the second quarter. Third-stringer Ryan Griffin, who’s also expected to make the team, got the rest of the work at quarterback and threw a touchdown pass to Reedy in the final minute.
Redskins: Sudfeld, a sixth-round draft pick, completed 8 of 18 passes for 72 yards, one TD and no interceptions. With rookie RB Keith Marshall (elbow) landing on injured reserve this week, Brown and Robert Kelley remain in the running to be backups behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. Kelley carried 16 times for 99 yards.
Buccaneers: After a rough start to the preseason, missing an extra point and two field goals in the first two weeks, second-round draft pick Roberto Aguayo converted all five of his field goal attempts over the last two games, including a 50-yarder Wednesday night.
Redskins: Sudfeld is third on the depth chart behind Cousins and Colt McCoy, who dressed but did not play.
Buccaneers: Coach Dirk Koetter has already said he expects to carry three quarterbacks. In addition to the competition for the fourth running back job, DE William Gholston played much of the first half in a bid to nail down a starting job.
Redskins: Did not announce any injuries during the game.
Buccaneers: Rookie CB Ryan Smith left in the second quarter with a hand injury. TE Kivon Cartwright and WR Kenny Bell (concussion) departed in the second half and did not return.