Former Vanderbilt RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn scores TD for Tampa Bay Bucs in first career NFL playoff start

·2 min read

Ke'Shawn Vaughn was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, about six weeks after the Bucs signed quarterback Tom Brady.

Since then, Vaughn has seen a cadre of veteran backs come into the running back room and move ahead of him on the depth chart. Until now.

The Pearl-Cohn High School alum who played his final two collegiate seasons at Vanderbilt made his first career playoff start on Sunday for the Bucs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round.

Vaughn responded promisingly for the Bucs. He ran for 17 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage and helped Tampa Bay drive down for an opening touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Vaughn plunged into the end zone for his first career playoff touchdown.

Tampa Bay is playing Sunday without normal starter Leonard Fournette and 2020 starter Ronald Jones, both out with injuries. That leaves Vaughn and Gio Bernard as the main options for the Bucs; Bernard (23 catches, three touchdowns) has featured throughout the season as a pass-catching back, while Vaughn got few carries as a reserve until the final weeks. Le'Veon Bell, the former All-Pro running back, signed with the Bucs in December but has not been a prominent factor on the ground so far.

Vaughn made his first career start in the NFL last Sunday in the Bucs' Week 18 win over Carolina, scoring a touchdown and gaining 29 yards on 10 carries. Vaughn's sophomore NFL season highlight came earlier last month in Tampa's first game against the Panthers, where he had a 55-yard touchdown run.

Vaughn, 24, spent his first two collegiate seasons at Illinois before transferring to Vanderbilt in 2017. He sat out the 2017 season due to transfer rules before posting a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Nashville.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn scores a touchdown in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn scores a touchdown in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt football: Ke'Shawn Vaughn gets 1st playoff start for Tampa Bay Bucs

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