Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors & News

Buccaneers Place Vincent Jackson On IR

SUNDAY, 10:11am: It is still uncertain whether Jackson suffered a complete tear of his ACL, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Twitter). He will have another MRI shortly, and Cecil Shorts will get the nod in Jackson’s absence.

TUESDAY, 4:14pm: In what could be a significant blow to their offense, the Buccaneers have placed wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve with a knee issue. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was among those to report that Jackson has a torn ACL, though ESPN’s Ed Werder suggests that it could be an MCL injury (Twitter links).

Vincent Jackson

Jackson played through the injury in the Buccaneers’ Week 5 win over the Panthers and later realized it didn’t feel right, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The 33-year-old hauled in three catches for 36 yards against Carolina, giving him 15 receptions and 173 yards on 31 targets this season.

This could be the second straight year in which a knee ailment has ended Jackson’s season early. He missed six games in 2015 and landed on IR in December with a sprained MCL. Prior to last year, Jackson had gone four straight years without missing a game. The two-time Pro Bowler has been highly productive in his 12 combined seasons with the Chargers and Bucs, but it’s possible he’ll never put on Tampa Bay’s uniform again.

Jackson will be a free agent at season’s end, and even before his injury, second-year receiver Adam Humphries had begun taking targets from him. Still, Jackson had started in each of the Buccaneers’ first five games, and his loss will give quarterback Jameis Winston one fewer viable target. Aside from Humphries and No. 1 option Mike Evans, the Bucs aren’t flush with options at wideout, though Louis Murphy is nearing a return from the torn ACL he suffered last October.

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Buccaneers Exchange Wide Receivers

  • In a wide receiver exchange, the Buccaneers promoted Freddie Martino to their 53-man roster and waived Donteea Dye, the team announced. Martino broke into the NFL with the 2014 Falcons, who employed current Bucs HC Dirk Koetter as their OC. He played in two games earlier this season but has yet to catch a pass in the NFL.

Buccaneers Promote WR Donteea Dye

The Buccaneers have promoted wide receiver Donteea Dye from the practice squad, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Dye signed a practice squad deal with the Bucs on Monday and he was quickly bumped up to the varsity squad to help replace the injured Vincent JacksonBuccaneers Helmet (Featured)

Dye impressed in the offseason but he was waived-injured by Tampa Bay after suffering a hamstring injury. Last year, he broke out as an undrafted rookie and even started in five games. He’ll give Jameis Winston another target as the team deals with Jackson’s absence and awaits the return of Cecil Shorts and Louis Murphy.

In related news, the Buccaneers signed running back Russell Hansbrough to take Dye’s old spot. Hansbrough made his NFL debut in last week’s win against Carolina but was cut earlier this week.

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Bucs Try Out Three TEs

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/18/16

Tuesday’s practice squad transactions:

Baltimore Ravens 

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: DB Darius Hillary, WR Jordan Leslie
  • Cut: E.J. Bibbs

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: LB Quentin Gause, TE Steven Scheu (Twitter link via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post)
  • Cut: WR Mose Frazier, LB Richard Cliett

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: DL Royce LaFrance (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate)

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: OL Don Cherry
  • Cut: G Darrell Greene

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: WR DeAndre Smelter
  • Cut: WR Dres Anderson

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: DT Justin Hamilton (Twitter link via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times)
  • Cut: DE Sterling Bailey

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/17/16

Today’s practice squad moves:

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers To Sign RB Antone Smith

The Buccaneers have agreed to sign running back Antone Smith, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Smith, an FSU product, played under coach Dirk Koetter in Atlanta. Antone Smith (vertical)

Smith could help fill the gap after running back Charles Sims was placed on IR earlier this month. Alternatively, this could be an indication that Doug Martin will be out for an extended period of time. Martin went down with a hamstring injury last month and it was initially reported that he would miss “about three weeks.” Now, almost four weeks later, Martin has yet to return to the field.

The injuries to the Bucs’ top two runners have thrust another former Atlanta back – Jacquizz Rodgers – into a starting role. Now, Smith will be there in support along with undrafted free agent Peyton Barber. Russell Hansbrough, who was the team’s No. 3 RB this weekend, has been waived (Twitter link via Auman).

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Stroud: Bucs Still Need To Address Aguayo Situation

  • Buccaneers rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo connected on a game-winning 38-yard field goal on Monday night, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times says that Aguayo’s boot only served to buy Tampa Bay a little extra time to address its kicker situation. Even with the winner, head coach Dirk Koetter sounded as disgusted as he did relieved by Aguayo’s performance this season, and as Stroud observes, if Aguayo continues to struggle–he is 4-of-8 on field goals with one missed extra point in nine tries–it could cause a schism between the coaching staff that is judged on wins and losses and the front office that wants its gamble on drafting Aguayo in the second round to pay off.

Practice Squad Updates: 10/14/16

Friday’s practice squad moves:

Indianapolis Colts

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: G Darrell Greene
  • Cut: LB Don Cherry

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • To be signed on Monday: TE Tevin Westbrook (Twitter link via agent Brett Tessler)

Browns Place Joel Bitonio On IR

The Browns have placed left guard Joel Bitonio on injured reserve with a mid-foot sprain, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets. To take his place on the roster, fullback Dan Vitale has been signed off of the Buccaneers’ practice squad (link). Joel Bitonio (vertical)

Bitonio’s injury is likely season-ending, though the new IR rules could technically allow for him to return. If Bitonio was to come back, he would not be eligible to play for another eight weeks.

Last year, Bitonio was placed on IR in December when an ankle injury forced him out of action. He was rated as the No. 33 guard in the NFL by Pro Football Focus when he was shut down last year. This year, through five games, PFF rated him as the ninth-best guard in the league (tied with Mike Iupati of the Cardinals). In 2016, he earned an overall grade of 83.3 with roughly even scores for his pass blocking and run blocking.

Vitale was a sixth-round pick of the Bucs this year. At Northwestern, Vitale racked up 135 catches for 1,427 receiving yards from 2012-15. He only carries the ball six times in college.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.