The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today placed nose tackle Vita Vea on Injured Reserve and inside linebacker Jack Cichy on Injured Reserve (minor designation). The team signed cornerback Ross Cockrell and inside linebacker Chapelle Russell from the practice squad to the active roster.
Cockrell (6-0, 191) was added as a veteran to the Buccaneers practice squad in Week 3, after spending the 2019 NFL season with the Carolina Panthers, starting in 11-of-14 appearances and recording 62 tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions. Since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Cockrell has spent time with the Bills (2014), Pittsburgh Steelers (2015-16), New York Giants (2017) and Carolina Panthers (2018-19). He has played in 68 career games, making 43 starts, notching 217 tackles, 44 passes defensed, seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. The Duke University product is a native of Hazlet, New Jersey and wears No. 43 for Tampa Bay.
Russell (6-2, 236) was a seventh-round selection by Tampa Bay in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Temple and has spent the first five weeks of the season on the Buccaneers' practice squad. He played in 45 collegiate games for the Owls, notching 237 career tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, six fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 3.0 sacks. In his senior season in 2019, he notched career bests with 72 tackles and nine tackles for loss, adding three passes defensed and earning Male Comeback Player of the Year recognition from Temple Athletics. The Lakewood, New Jersey, native wears No. 53 for Tampa Bay.
In addition, Tampa Bay waived cornerback Parnell Motley.
The Buccaneers also signed wide receiver Travis Jonsen, tight end Codey McElroy, linebacker Tegray Scales and running back Aca'Cedric Ware to the practice squad and released center Zach Shackelford from the practice squad.
Jonsen (6-4, 211) originally entered the league as a college free agent with Tampa Bay this offseason, and was with the Buccaneers during training camp, prior to being waived (injured) on Oct. 10. The Montana State product was a first-team All-Big Sky All-Purpose selection in 2019 after recording 55 receptions for 580, while adding 526 rushing yards on 82 carries. A native of Fullerton, California, Jonsen will wear No. 16 for Tampa Bay.
McElroy (6-6, 258) has played in one game with the Buccaneers, in Week 16 of 2019, making one reception for 30 yards. He first signed to Tampa Bay's practice squad in October of 2019, splitting the remainder of the season between the practice squad and active roster. Prior to arriving in Tampa Bay, McElroy spent the 2019 preseason with the Dallas Cowboys. The Frederick, Oklahoma, native entered the league with the Los Angeles Rams as a college free agent out of Southeastern Oklahoma State in 2018. He will wear No. 86 for the Buccaneers.
Scales (6-0, 227) joins Tampa Bay following a stint with the Dallas Renegades in the 2020 XFL season, in which he recorded 24 tackles (four for loss) and 1.0 sack in five games. Scales last played in the NFL as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2019 preseason. He was a member of the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad in 2018 after originally entering the league as a college free agent with the Los Angeles Rams in May of 2018. A Cincinnati native, Scales played collegiately at Indiana and will wear No. 46 for Tampa Bay.
Ware (6-0, 205) spent the 2020 offseason and training camp in Tampa Bay, after originally signing to the team's practice squad in October of 2019. He entered the league as a college free agent with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. The DeSoto, Texas native rushed for 1,505 yards and 10 touchdowns in 45 career games at USC. He will wear No. 41 for the Buccaneers.