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Bucs Sign LB Lansanah, Move Casillas to IR

Posted Dec 4, 2013

With LB Jonathan Casillas headed to injured reserve as expected, the Buccaneers restored depth at the position by grabbing Danny Lansanah off the Jets' practice squad

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Starting strongside LB Jonathan Casillas is headed to knee surgery and injured reserve
  • The Bucs restored LB depth by signing Danny Lansanah off the Jets' practice squad
  • The 28-year-old Lansanah last played in an NFL regular-season game in 2008
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed linebacker Jonathan Casillas on injured reserve and replaced him on the 53-man roster and the LB depth chart with former New York Jet Danny Lansanah.

The Buccaneers plucked Lansanah directly off the Jets' practice squad, a method they have used on several other occasions this year.  Guard Patrick Omameh (San Francisco), running back Michael Hill (Green Bay) and fullback/running back Lonnie Pryor (Jacksonville) were all toiling on practice squads for other teams when the Bucs came calling.  The difference this time: while Omameh, Hill and Pryor are all rookies, Lansanah is a well-traveled 28-year-old who last played an NFL regular-season game in 2008.

The need for another linebacker arose after Casillas suffered a knee injury in Sunday's game at Carolina, an ailment that Head Coach Greg Schiano said on Monday was likely to require surgery.  Indeed, on Wednesday Casillas became the 14th Buccaneer to land on injured reserve in 2013.  Casillas' first season as a Buccaneer concludes with 12 games played, four starts, 24 tackles, one tackle for loss, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and nine additional stops on special teams.  Through 12 games, Casillas is the Bucs' leading tackler in kick coverage.

The addition of the 6-1, 255-pound Lansanah keeps the Bucs' linebacking corps six players strong.  Either Dekoda Watson, Adam Hayward or Ka'Lial Glaud – or perhaps some combination thereof – are expected to take over Casillas' role at strongside linebacker, with the other two plus Lansanah providing depth and important contributions on special teams.

-- LB Jonathan Casillas is the Bucs' leading tackler on special teams this year
Lansanah's NFL career began in conventional fashion in 2008, when he was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent after a strong collegiate career at the University of Connecticut.  He impressed during the preseason but started the year on Green Bay's practice squad before getting a promotion in October to prevent the Miami Dolphins from signing him away.  Lansanah went on to appear in five games for Green Bay during his rookie campaign.

The Dolphins finally got their crack at Lansanah the following September when he was waived by Green Bay in the final roster cuts and signed to Miami's practice squad.  He spent roughly one month each that season on the practice squads in Miami and Detroit but did not finish the season on an NFL roster, nor did he sign with another NFL team in 2010.  Instead, Lansanah continued his playing career in the United Football League (UFL), first with the Hartford Colonials in 2010 and then with the Las Vegas Locomotives in 2011-12.

Finally, the Jets called in January of 2013 and gave Lansanah another shot at the NFL.  He again played well during the preseason and earned a spot on the practice squad.  After a brief promotion to the active roster in September – he was on the roster but inactive for the Buccaneers-Jets game in Week One – he returned to the practice squad and stayed there until the Buccaneers' call this week.

At Connecticut, Lansanah started for three seasons, two on the strong side and one in the middle, and finished with 323 tackles and 10 interceptions.  While with the Packers in 2008 he was mostly used at strongside linebacker.  He will wear number 51 for the Buccaneers.

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