The Buccaneers have been busy during their bye week, as ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out five players today: linebackers Quentin Gause and Brandon Hepburn, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, defensive end Chris McCain, and wide receiver Da’Ron Brown. Howard Balzer (via Twitter) adds the names of six more players who auditioned for the Bucs: wide receivers Matt Hazel and Jamal Robinson, linebackers Jason Fanaika and Randell Johnson, tight end Clay Burton, and cornerback Robertson Daniel.
With starting defensive lineman Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, and Clinton McDonald missing this past weekend’s game, the Buccaneers are seeking some reinforcement up front. Siliga, 26, would automatically become one of the team’s most experienced lineman, as the former undrafted free agent has 26 career games under his belt. The defensive tackle played in 13 games for the Patriots in 2015 (four starts), compiling 28 tackles. Siliga briefly caught on with the Seahawks this past offseason, and he visited the Buccaneers back in September. McCain, another former undrafted free agent, appeared in 18 games for the Dolphins between 2014 and 2015, collecting seven tackles and two sacks.
The Buccaneers may be valuing depth when it comes to Hepburn and Gause, as the team only has four linebackers on the roster. Hepburn is the most experienced of the two, although the former Florida A&M standout hasn’t played an NFL game. Still, the 26-year-old has bounced between the Lions, Eagles and Cowboys over the past four years. Gause, a rookie linebacker out of Rutgers, previously spent time with the Eagles and Patriots.
The Buccaneers decision to audition Brown may be an indication that wideout Cecil Shorts won’t be ready for next week’s game. Brown, a seventh-round pick by the Chiefs in 2015, was released by the Patriots’ practice squad earlier this month.