NFL

Bucs Rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. Can Give Aaron Rodgers His Own Case of Groundhog Day

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t hallucinating when he saw Antoine Winfield’s name on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster. 

Many years ago, Rodgers matched up with Winfield Sr., a longtime Minnesota Vikings defensive back. 

Now, Rodgers will face Winfield’s son, Antoine Jr. And if the son gets his way, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie standout will give Rodgers a sense of déjà vu. 

Antoine Winfield Jr. is in his rookie season 

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Injuries limited Antoine Winfield Jr. for a good chunk of his career at Minnesota. 

Finally healthy in 2019, Winfield — son of the former All-Pro defensive back — picked off seven passes and declared for the NFL draft. 

Tampa Bay drafted Winfield with the 45th overall selection in April. Humorously, Winfield joined a team where his new teammate, Tom Brady, had once been intercepted by Antoine Winfield Sr.

Older football fans will remember the senior Winfield for his days with the Minnesota Vikings. Winfield Sr. picked off 27 passes, forced 14 fumbles, recovered another 11 fumbles, and made three Pro Bowls from 1999-2012. 

Winfield has played at a high level so far

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Antoine Winfield Jr. hasn’t dealt with the rookie wall just yet. 

Winfield totaled 30 tackles, two sacks, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble in his first five games. The rookie played 100% of the Buccaneers’ defensive snaps in three of those games and hasn’t played fewer than 98% yet. 

Winfield has also seen significant special teams action and saw action on at least 20% of the Buccaneers’ special teams snaps in four of the five games. 

Winfield started all five of those games at free safety. Although he is still searching for his first interception, Winfield has taken to the NFL well. 

Antoine Winfield Jr. can give Aaron Rodgers déjà vu

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Let’s turn things all the way back to October 2009, when Antoine Winfield Jr. was only 11 years old.

Antoine Winfield Sr. was still playing and fresh off his first — and only — All-Pro season. In a Week 4 victory over the Green Bay Packers, Winfield Sr. had 10 tackles and picked off Aaron Rodgers

Eleven years later, Rodgers is still going strong in Green Bay. Lost in the Rodgers vs. Tom Brady matchup is the underrated trivia fact involving the Winfield family.

If Antoine Winfield Jr. picks off a Rodgers pass, it is believed it would be the first time in NFL history that a father and son each intercepted the same quarterback.

Winfield will need some added luck to make that happen, though. Rodgers has thrown only six interceptions since the 2018 season began, and he hasn’t thrown one this season. 

The eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback completed 70.5% of his passes for 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns in Green Bay’s first four games, all victories. 

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