The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added yet another player to the active roster who could be catching passes for them on Saturday, and another one who could be catching NFL passes for the first time.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers promoted first-year tight end Codey McElroy from the practice squad; no complementary move was needed because the Buccaneers had an open spot on the 53-man roster after placing both Mike Evans and Jordan Whitehead on injured reserve on Wednesday. The Bucs did use the resulting open spot on the practice squad to bring in wide receiver Jaydon Mickens.
McElroy's promotion follows Tuesday's signing of first-year wide receiver Cyril Grayson and Wednesday's promotion of rookie wide receiver Spencer Schnell from the practice squad. Last week, Tampa Bay promoted rookie wide receiver Ishmael Hyman from the practice squad and he caught his first NFL pass in a win over the Detroit Lions. McElroy, Grayson and Schnell could all make their NFL debuts on Saturday against Houston.
All of this roster turnover is the product of a rash of injuries to receivers and tight ends in the past two weeks. Both Evans and Scotty Miller are now on injured reserve and Chris Godwin is unlikely to play on Saturday against Houston, all because of hamstring strains, while tight end Tanner Hudson is in the concussion protocol.
Like Grayson, the former LSU track star, the 6-6, 244-pound McElroy brings an interesting history to his first appearance on an NFL regular-season roster. Football is the third sport he's pursued since beginning college, following baseball and basketball. He was a good enough baseball player at the University of Texas to be drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round. However, after two years in the minor leagues, McElroy retired from baseball and went to Oklahoma State to play basketball. He finally turned to football in 2017 at Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he played one season and caught 14 passes for 173 yards and five touchdowns.
McElroy's first NFL show came with the Los Angeles Rams, with whom he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018. This past summer, he went to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys but was waived with an injury settlement in the final roster cuts.
Mickens (5-11, 170) originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Washington with the Oakland Raiders in 2016. He was with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017 and 2018, appearing in a total of 16 games and catching six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.