The Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated quarterback Ryan Griffin from the injured reserve list on Tuesday, as expected. To make room on the 53-man roster, the Buccaneers released cornerback Deji Olatoye.
Griffin's return comes just as the Buccaneers learned that starting quarterback Jameis Winston will miss at least two weeks due to a shoulder injury. Tampa Bay will carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, with Griffin set to back up the current starter in Winston's place, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Griffin was placed on injured reserve on September 4 due to a shoulder injury he sustained in the second game of the preseason at Jacksonville. The Buccaneers kept Griffin on the active roster through the cut-down to 53 on September 2 so that they could put him on the Designated for Return list. Each NFL team has the option to bring two players back from that list during the season after the player has spent at least eight weeks on injured reserve. Griffin was eligible to return to practice on October 18, which he did; he has been throwing passes for the scout team in the weeks since, demonstrating that he has fully recovered from his injury.
Prior to suffering that injury, Griffin was battling Fitzpatrick for the primary backup spot to Winston, and had been performing well in training camp. Griffin threw nine passes in the preseason, completing four for 57 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. The Buccaneers had previously kept Griffin as a third quarterback for the entirety of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, grooming him as a possible replacement for Mike Glennon, who was expected to depart in free agency. After placing Griffin on injured reserve, the Buccaneers demonstrated their continued interest in his future by signing him to a contract extension for the 2018 season.
Olatoye spent two weeks with the Buccaneers, appearing in one game. He was signed after cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Robert McClain suffered injuries at Buffalo in Week Seven but was inactive for last Sunday's game after the return of McClain.