The Buccaneers listed edge rusher Shaq Barrett as questionable to return from a knee injury at halftime, but Barrett returned on the first Panthers possession of the first half and helped provide pressure that led to an Anthony Nelson sack of Cam Newton on third down.
Barrett’s return didn’t end well, however. The Bucs ruled him out for the rest of the afternoon during the ensuing offensive possession.
That possession ended with the Buccaneers extending their lead to 22-6 on Ryan Succop‘s third field goal of the day. Tom Brady hit Antonio Brown for 13 yards on a third down and then found Rob Gronkowski for 23 yards to move the ball inside the 10-yard line. It was Gronkowski’s first catch of the day.