5:26pm: The Bucs have officially announced Sims’ activation, also confirming that wideout Marcus Thigpen and defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo have been promoted from their practice squad to the active roster (Twitter link via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com).
11:47am: We heard whispers yesterday indicating that the Buccaneers could activate rookie running back Charles Sims from the IR in advance of this weekend’s matchup against the Browns. That was confirmed this morning, as Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Bucs will activate Sims today will the intention of playing him this weekend. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the move is “procedural,” adding that there’s no guarantee Sims will play against Cleveland. No corresponding roster move has been announced.
Sims was drafted by the Bucs in the third round following a dominant senior season with West Virginia, where he rushed for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns. He spent his first three years of college playing for the Houston Cougars, compiling 37 touchdowns and averaged about 800 yards a season.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com notes that Sims was estimated to miss 12 to 14 weeks following ankle surgery in August, indicating that the rookie was ahead of schedule about at least two weeks. Patra adds that the team will likely lean on Bobby Rainey this weekend as the team eases Sims in.