Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White played with a heavy heart in Week 10.
White learned his father, Carlos Thomas, died on Thursday just hours before he boarded a plane to Munich, Germany, for the Buccaneers' match with the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas was 45 years old.
Three days later, White had one of the best games of his career with two sacks, a forced fumble and a team-high nine tackles in a 21-16 win.
"Just a lot of emotions," White said after the game. "But I tried to turn them into good emotions and just keep a great spirit. That's the relationship we had."
Bucs LB Devin White said “it was very hard to play” Sunday after learning his dad had died Thursday just hours before he had to get on the plane to Germany. pic.twitter.com/fqK4NK6eo0— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) November 13, 2022
On one of those sacks White looked up to the sky, something he confirmed was to honor his late father.
.@DevinWhite__40 came in like a freight train. 😳— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
📺: #SEAvsTB on @NFLNetwork
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/M32DOvVAld pic.twitter.com/p9HL2EsybG
"That was just 'I appreciate you.' I got great people, great angels, watching over me. That was just, 'this one's for you.'"
Head coach Todd Bowles praised White after the game for even making the trip after hearing about his father.
"To lose your dad right before you're getting ready to go to Germany, and to come out and still play, it says a lot about the guy," Bowles said.
White was a huge reason why the Buccaneers bounced back to beat the Seahawks after a disappointing start to the season. Tampa Bay held Seattle to just three points heading into the fourth quarter and White forced a critical red zone fumble in the second half that helped hold the Buccaneers' lead.
The Buccaneers already had a solid defense after allowing just 18.2 points per game prior to Week 10. Now, they'll head into their bye rejuvenated after a big win and very much in the diver's seat for the NFC South lead.