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Underwood Returns to Bucs' WR Corps

Posted Oct 2, 2013

WR Tiquan Underwood has been re-signed by Tampa Bay and should compete immediately for the third-receiver job…Also, TE Matt Veldman takes one of two open spots on the practice squad

  • WR Tiquan Underwood returns to the Bucs in similar circumstances to a year ago and should be ready to contribute immediately
  • Underwood spent much of 2012 as the Bucs' third receiver, catching 28 passes and averaging 15.2 yards per reception
  • TE Matt Veldman also joins the team, taking one of two open spots on the practice squad
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed wide receiver Tiquan Underwood on Wednesday, and if they ask Underwood to step right into a prominent role on offense, he should be ready.  After all, he did the exact same thing a year ago.

The addition of Underwood continues the bye-week reshaping of Tampa Bay's receiving corps, which subtracted former number-three wideout Kevin Ogletree on Tuesday but also added promising second-year player Chris Owusu from the practice squad.  Underwood should be one of the players in contention for Ogletree's former role, a job that Underwood held for a good portion of the 2012 seasons, catching 28 passes for 425 yards and two touchdowns.

He did it under similar circumstances, returning to the roster on September 20 after being released in the final cut-downs just before the start of the regular season.  In just his second game back, Underwood caught three passes for 39 yards, and the next week against Kansas City he turned in a season-long 62-yard reception.  In all, Underwood appeared in 14 games with three starts and recorded an excellent average of 15.2 yards per catch.

 The 6-1, 183-pound Underwood has also played for Jacksonville (2009-10) and New England (2011), recording career totals of 39 catches for 566 yards and two touchdowns in 33 games and three starts.  He also has 28 career kickoff returns, averaging 23.1 yards per runback.  Underwood originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick out of Rutgers by the Jaguars in 2009.

During the 2013 preseason, Underwood caught five passes for 57 yards in four games with the Buccaneers.

- WR Tiquan Underwood was the Bucs' third WR for much of 2012

The Buccaneers also added tight end Matt Veldman to their practice squad on Wednesday.  Veldman first entered the league as an undrafted free agent with Jacksonville in 2012, but he spent his rookie season on injured reserve.  This summer, he went to training camp with the Detroit Lions but was waived on August 27.  At North Dakota State, Veldman played in 42 games over four seasons and amassed 49 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns.  As a senior in 2011, he helped the Bison capture the NCAA Division I FCS Championship with a career-high 26 receptions for 331 yards and three scores.

Wednesday's moves leave the Buccaneers with one open spot each on the 53-man roster and the eight-man practice squad.  There is no particular rush to fill those spots, however, as a low-intensity practice on Wednesday afternoon will be the team's last work before next week.  It is likely the team will fill those open spots before hitting the practice field on Monday.