The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have activated inside linebacker Jack Cichy from injured reserve. Cichy spent six weeks on the I.R. list due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week Five at Chicago. Under the revised injured reserve rules in 2020, all players who are placed on that list after the start of the season are eligible to return after a minimum of three weeks.
The Buccaneers also placed center A.Q. Shipley on injured reserve, as expected. Shipley suffered what Head Coach Bruce Arians has indicated is a career-ending neck injury on Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams. In addition, defensive lineman Vita Vea, who has been on injured reserve since Week Six, has now been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Also, cornerback Herb Miller and guard John Molchon have been elevated from the practice squad for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both players provide depth at positions that are currently thinned by injuries. Cornerback Jamel Dean has been ruled out of Sunday's game due to a concussion and, in addition to the loss of Shipley, the Buccaneers also designated starting left guard Ali Marpet as questionable on Friday's injury report. Marpet is also attempting to return from a concussion and as of Friday had not yet exited the NFL's concussion protocol.
Cichy played in each of the Bucs' first five games, seeing action exclusively on special teams. The third-year linebacker also saw his first two seasons end prematurely due to knee and elbow injuries, respectively, but this time was sidelined by a less serious ailment. The Buccaneers designated Cichy to return from injured reserve on October 11 and had a three-week window in which he could practice without counting against the 53-man roster limit.
In all, Cichy has played in 15 regular-season games since being drafted out of Wisconsin in the sixth round in 2018. He also overcame two serious knee injuries while with the Badgers. Cichy has recorded four tackles on special teams as well as one defensive stop.
Shipley, who signed with the Buccaneers in late August, appeared in five games and made two starts this season. With Marpet out, the Bucs had shifted center Ryan Jensen to left guard and inserted Shipley at center in the last two games.
Miller entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs in 2019 and ended up on Tampa Bay's practice squad later in the season. He went to training camp with the Buccaneers and has been on the team's practice squad since the start of the season. He played his college ball at Florida Atlantic.
The Buccaneers signed Molchon as a rookie free agent out of Boise State after this year's draft. He initially made the 53-man roster to start the season but was then placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered during near the end of training camp. He was activated from injured reserve at the end of October and then moved to the practice squad.
The option to elevate up to two players from the practice squad for each game is new in 2020. A team can only elevate a specific player twice during the season, and this is the first elevation for both Miller and Molchon. After the game they will automatically revert to the practice squad without having to pass through waivers.