Derek Hardman, who filled in admirably for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late in his 2010 rookie season and who has been with the team for all but one week of the last 29 months, is back on the team's active roster. On Friday, the Buccaneers re-signed the third-year guard/tackle and released veteran defensive end
Hardman, originally an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky in 2010, made it through the two rounds of league-wide cuts to the Buccaneers' 53-man roster at the beginning of the month. However, he was released on Wednesday of last week when the team elected to re-sign veteran cornerback
Hardman's return is no surprise as the 6-6, 300-pound lineman has been a valuable reserve on the Buccaneers' line for most of the last two seasons. He started his rookie campaign on the practice squad but was promoted to the active roster in late October of 2010. In December, after a season-ending injury to Pro Bowler
In 2011, Hardman once again earned a spot on the active roster but was inactive for 13 of the team's 16 games. This August, he played in all four preseason games with one start at right guard.
Hardman's return gives the team nine offensive linemen overall and adds a second reserve for the interior line to
The Buccaneers signed Gilberry, who played his previous four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, in June. He was subsequently released on September 1 but returned to the Bucs' roster two days later.