Tampa Bay is dealing with several injuries along its defensive line, the most severe of which may be to edge rusher Noah Spence, who left Sunday’s contest with a shoulder injury and will likely miss an extended period of time. Ryan Russell is also coming back from a shoulder issue, while veteran Robert Ayers is managing a knee injury (and was able to play in Week 7).
Tapp, 33, has already had multiple stints with the division rival Saints in 2017, but hasn’t actually played a down for New Orleans since last season. He’s been more or less a rotational defensive end since 2009 (with his best and most productive years coming as a starter for the Seahawks in 2007-08), and that’s likely the role he’ll play for the Buccaneers. Tapp, who has 162 career appearances under his belt, will play behind Ayers, William Gholston, and Will Clarke in Tampa.
This isn’t the first time the Bucs have sought to add help on the edge of their defensive line. Free agent pass rusher Lamarr Houston worked out for Tampa Bay earlier this month before signing with the Texans, while the Buccaneers auditioned defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Owa Odighizuwa alongside Tapp on Tuesday, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Tampa also looked at cornerbacks Josh Johnson, Deji Olatoye, and Raysean Pringle, plus defensive tackle Marquavius Lewis.
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