Carl Nassib is again headed to the NFL Playoffs, this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s the second year in a row the linebacker has made it to the playoffs, and since coming out publicly as gay, he’s two-for-two.
Coming off the bench for most of 2022, Nassib has statistically had one of his better seasons, with 3.5 sacks, three passes broken up and a fumble recovery.
Over the New Year holiday, Nassib celebrated the news with his boyfriend, Olympic swimmer Soren Dahl:
Nassib has been out of the Bucs lineup for the last couple of weeks, as he recovers from a reported pectoral injury.
Nassib has now been publicly out as gay in the NFL for two seasons. Each of those two seasons since coming out, he and his team have made it to the Playoffs, last season with the Las Vegas Raiders (who, since releasing Nassib from their roster, have had a rough season).
At Outsports, for years we have said the absolutely ridiculous claim that a gay player on an NFL team would be a “distraction” was unfounded and false. The success of Nassib — and the Raiders and Buccaneers with him on the team — shows that we were right all along.
With the life-threatening injury to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football, it’s unknown when the NFL will start the Playoffs as there is speculation they could be delayed. There is a buffer week between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl; In 2021, when a week of games after the Sept. 11 attacks were postponed, the NFL eliminated that buffer week and the Super Bowl continued on time while everything else on the schedule was delayed a week.
For winning the NFC South, Tampa Bay will host a game in the Wild Card round. Their opponent will be either the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles, each of whom has a vastly better record than the Bucs.
Whenever they take place, Nassib and the Bucs will be part of them, assuming Nassib’s pectoral injury is healed by then. And with Nassib’s solid season, it’s very possible — if not likely — he’ll back back on an NFL field next season too.