Jaelon Darden

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wide Receiver
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wide Receiver

Jaelon Darden News

Pair of punt returns in loss

Darden did not log any snaps on offense but returned two punts for 24 yards during the Buccaneers' 23-17 overtime loss to the Browns in Week 12.

Analysis: Darden rattled off another long return in a season full of them, recording a 17-yard runback. The speedster continues to be a complete non-factor on offense, but he's now averaged 10.7 yards per return and leads the NFL with 310 punt-return yards overall.

Dec 1, 2022 12:12 PM EST

Gets shot as kickoff returner

Darden returned two kickoffs for 42 yards in the Buccaneers' 21-16 win over the Seahawks in Week 10.

Analysis: The Buccaneers didn't have any punt-return opportunities, but Darden still got his hands on the ball via the first two kickoff returns of the season. Darden failed to log a single snap on offense for the third straight game, however, so despite his speed, he doesn't have any fantasy viability at the moment outside of leagues that count return yards.

Nov 15, 2022 11:46 PM EST

Busy day as returner

Darden did not log any snaps on offense but returned eight punts for 82 yards in the Buccaneers' 16-13 win over the Rams on Sunday.

Analysis: It was an extremely busy day on special teams for Darden, who recorded a career high in return yardage on an afternoon when the Rams were about as inept at sustaining drives as the Buccaneers. Darden continues to be among the league's most efficient return men, now averaging 10.6 yards on his 27 punt runbacks overall.

Nov 8, 2022 4:20 PM EST

Continues shining on returns

Darden returned two punts for 33 yards in the Buccaneers' 27-22 loss to the Ravens on Thursday night.

Analysis: Darden once again was a non-factor on offense but continued to shine in his punt returner role. The second-year speedster ripped off runbacks of 18 and 15 yards, pushing his average in that category to a stellar 10.7 yards per return.

Oct 29, 2022 12:08 AM EST

Logs three punt returns in Week 6

Darden returned three punts for 14 yards during the Buccaneers' 20-18 loss to the Steelers in Week 6.

Analysis: The second-year wideout failed to see a snap on offense for the first time all season, but he continued to deliver solid production on his punt-return opportunities. Darden's average of 9.6 yards on punt runbacks ties him for 10th overall in the league and qualifies as the fourth highest of players that have logged double-digit returns, while his 125 yards are good for sixth most.

Oct 20, 2022 6:35 AM EST

Back in full Thursday

Darden (tooth) practiced fully Thursday.

Analysis: Darden missed Wednesday's practice due to a tooth issue, but his return as a full participant in Thursday's session suggests he'll likely be available for Sunday's game against the Steelers. The second-year receiver has just one catch for 25 yards through the Buccaneers first five contests, and he'll likely see very limited snaps on offense once again this weekend in Pittsburgh.

Oct 13, 2022 2:34 PM EST

Sits out Wednesday

Darden did not participate during the Buccaneers' practice Wednesday due to a tooth issue.

Analysis: It's unclear how or when Darden sustained this injury after playing just 15 total snaps during Tampa Bay's Week 5 win over Atlanta. Either way, this issue now leaves his availability for Sunday's game against the Steelers up in the air. Darden has caught just one pass over the first five weeks of the season, though his potential absence should vault Scotty Miller into a role as Tampa Bay's primary punt returner.

Oct 12, 2022 5:50 PM EST

Limited to pair of punt returns

Darden didn't log a target over his 11 snaps from scrimmage and returned two punts for 40 yards in the Buccaneers' 21-15 win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Analysis: Darden's second-highest snap count from scrimmage of the season didn't net him any production, but he was impressive yet again in his primary role as punt returner. Darden has now netted 111 yards on nine punt runbacks, and his elite speed and elusiveness should eventually help him garner some targets on offense.

Oct 10, 2022 1:17 PM EST

No stats in Week 4 loss

Darden logged six snaps on offense and one on special teams during the Buccaneers' 41-31 loss to the Chiefs in Week 4, but he did not draw a snap or return a punt.

Analysis: It was an extremely quiet night for Darden despite the fact Julio Jones exited the game after one second-half snap due to a knee issue and Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) was inactive. Darden's one usually dependable path to touches, punt returns, also failed to materialize, as the prolific Chiefs offense punted only once, which resulted in a fair catch by Darden. The 2021 fourth-round pick has just one reception this season, but the combination of Cole Beasley's retirement and the lingering injuries to both Jones and Perriman could serve to open up opportunity on offense in coming games.

Oct 6, 2022 9:03 AM EST

Flashes with one catch

Darden secured his only target for 25 yards and returned three punts for 26 yards in the Buccaneers' 14-12 loss to the Packers on Sunday.

Analysis: Darden logged a season-high 18 snaps from scrimmage with the Buccaneers down three receivers, and he flashed his speed on his one reception by getting upfield down the right sideline for an impressive gain. He also continued to put in his usual strong work on special teams, now averaging an impressive 8.9 yards per punt return on his eight runbacks. Despite the splash play on offense, Darden could be back down to minimal involvement from scrimmage in Week 4 if at least Mike Evans (suspension) and Julio Jones (knee) return as expected.

Sep 26, 2022 9:23 PM EST

Limited to punt returns Sunday

Darden logged eight snaps from scrimmage without drawing a target in Sunday's 20-10 win over the Saints, but he did return two punts for 17 yards.

Analysis: Darden couldn't make a mark on offense despite the Buccaneers being without Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee), but he did flash on punt returns for the second straight game. All Darden's yardage in that capacity came on one of his two special-teams touches, and he's now averaging 9.0 yards per return on five runbacks through the first pair of contests. With Mike Evans having been handed a one-game suspension for his role in a multi-player brawl Sunday and both Godwin and Jones uncertain to be available Week 3, there may be an opportunity for Darden to see his first targets of the season in Sunday's home opener against the Packers.

Sep 19, 2022 11:32 AM EST

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