Wide receiver Adam Humphries provided one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' best stories during the final weekend before the regular-season, surviving the last round of cuts to make the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie. His initial run on the roster ended after a month, however, when Tampa Bay released him in early October in order to promote fellow undrafted rookie wideout Donteea Dye from the practice squad.
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Now both Humphries and Dye will get a chance to suit up on game days, as the Buccaneers promoted the former rookie from the practice squad to the active roster on Wednesday. The latter is coming off a game in Washington in which he saw extensive action and caught his first NFL touchdown pass.
The reason for Dye's expanded role last Sunday and Humphries' return to the active roster are one and the same: Veteran wideout Louis Murphy suffered a season-ending knee injury on a 29-yard catch against the Redskins and was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. With Vincent Jackson dealing with his own knee injury from Sunday's game and Russell Shepard still recovering from a hamstring ailment, both Dye and Humphries may be needed in the weeks ahead.
Humphries' promotion was also part of a series of roster moves on Tuesday that reshuffled the practice squad once again. A total of four open spots on that 10-man crew were created with the Humphries move plus the departures on Tuesday of cornerbacks Keon Lyn and Dax Swanson and tackle Martin Wallace. On Wednesday, those four spots were filled by the signings of wide receiver Andre Davis, guard Ryan Groy, defensive tackle Derrick Lott and linebacker Julian Stanford. Davis and Groy join the Buccaneers for the first time but Lott and Stanford each had a previous stint on Tampa Bay's practice squad.
The 5-11, 195-pound Humphries, who played his college ball at Clemson, had a very good preseason, leading the team with nine catches for 139 yards and one touchdown. He seems best suited for the slot, which could be helpful with Murphy out for the season. Humphries also returned punts and kickoffs for the Buccaneers during the preseason and could provide another option in that role, though Bobby Rainey has handled those jobs quite well so far.
During his first stint on the active roster, Humphries played in three games and was inactive for a fourth, contributing two receptions for 14 yards.
Lott (6-4, 314) returns for a third stint on the Bucs' practice squad; he was part of that unit in Weeks Two, Four and Five. Lott originally signed with the Titans as a rookie free agent out of Tennessee-Chattanooga but was released on September 1. He had an impressive performance at the 2015 East-West Shrine Game following a 6.5-sack campaign at Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2014. He possesses an intriguing size-speed combination, which was put on display when he covered kickoffs for the East team in the Shrine Game.
Stanford (6-1, 230) played his college ball at Wagner and came into the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started six of the 16 games in which he played as a rookie but then spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons in Detroit, appearing in 18 total contests. His career totals include 22 tackles and a fumble recovery. Stanford was also on the Bucs' practice squad in Week Two.
Davis is new to the Buccaneers but probably quite familiar to many Tampa Bay fans. Last year, he was named team MVP for the South Florida Bulls, capping a fantastic four-year career for a team that shares Raymond James Stadium with the Buccaneers. Davis grew up just miles from One Buccaneer Place and played his prep football at Jefferson High, minutes away from Raymond James Stadium.
In all, the 6-1, 205-pound wideout played in 43 games with 30 starts for USF and recorded 153 receptions, 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns. This spring, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills but was waived during the final roster cuts. He led the Bills in receptions during the preseason, hauling in nine passes for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Buccaneers vs. Redskins game at FedExField on October 25th.
Groy (6-5, 320) grew up in Wisconsin and stayed home to play for the Badgers. He made two starts at fullback in his 2010 redshirt freshman season, then eventually settled in as Wisconsin's starting left guard. Groy started all 27 games for the Badgers in 2012 and 2013, helping current San Diego Chargers' running back Melvin Gordon rush for 1,609 yards in 2013. Groy signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2014, started that year on the practice squad but eventually graduated to the active roster, where he played in four games with three stats.
The Bears traded Groy to the New England Patriots on August 10 in exchange for linebacker Matthew Wells. Groy ended up on the Patriots' injured reserve list to start the 2015 season and was waived with an injury settlement on October 2.