The Buccaneers will be without one of their starting safeties for the their regular season finale against the Panthers, as the club announced that they’ve placed Chris Conte on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, Tampa Bay has promoted Darius Eubanks from its practice squad.
The 26-year-old Conte reunited with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith in Tampa this season, inking a one-year, $1.5MM deal during the offseason. He made good on that investment, starting 14 games, posting 59 tackles, two interceptions, and grading as a top-30 safety according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The Buccaneers figure to make improvements to their secondary during free agency and/or the draft, but it stands to reason that Conte could be re-signed given his familiarity with Smith’s scheme.
Eubanks, 24, has nine games of NFL experience, all with the Browns in 2013. Formerly an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern, Eubanks spent most of the this season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, before being signed to Tampa’s taxi squad 10 days ago.