14 Players Placed on Practice Squad
The annual cutdown day has come and passed. On Tuesday, the Buccaneers waived, released or traded 26 players in order to trim the roster to the 53-man limit. 14 of those players were back with the team on Wednesday. Those 14 including veterans and undrafted rookies - who could have been claimed off the waiver wire - form the Bucs' current edition of the team's 2022 practice squad. The Buccaneers have two more allotted spots that will be filled in the ensuing days.
Among the young players signed back on Wednesday were dynamic wide receivers Deven Thompkins and Kaylon Geiger, a tandem of undersized yet impactful performers. Both impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. Thompkins, a crowd favorite, put on a highlight reel between the hash marks during joint practices (Dolphins, Titans) with multiple acrobatic, leaping grabs. Additionally, veteran Deadrin Senat, a former third-round pick out of USF who spent the previous four seasons in Atlanta, was one of the headliners in the veteran group.
Here are the 14 players signed to the Buccaneers' 2022 practice squad:
- OLB Genard Avery
- T Dylan Cook
- CB Don Gardner
- WR Kaylon Geiger Sr.
- DL Mike Greene
- QB Ryan Griffin
- TE JJ Howland
- RB Patrick Laird
- OL John Molchon
- DL Willington Previlon
- LB J.J. Russell
- DT Deadrin Senat
- WR Deven Thompkins
- S Nolan Turner
Status of Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett
With an already-thinned offensive line due to injuries of both starting Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen and projected starting left guard Aaron Stinnie, the Bucs endured another hit in Indianapolis during the preseason finale. Robert Hainsey (ankle) and Nick Leverett (shoulder) exited the game with injuries and did not return to the field. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, there is seemingly no significance to the respective injuries or long-term concern. The regular season begins on September 11 as the Bucs travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. Hainsey is expected to start at center in place of Ryan Jensen in Week One.
"They're both trending in the right direction," Todd Bowles described. "If they continue to heal, they'll be ready to practice next week and should be available for the game."
The Buccaneers have a tough four-game stretch to begin the 2022 regular season, featuring a gauntlet of heavy-hitters: The Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The common phrase, "diamonds are made under pressure" seems to embody the team's mentality regarding the upcoming opponents. The high-stakes matchups will provide a measuring stick. Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett welcomes the challengers.
"We want to be battle tested," Barrett said. "We want to go through these tough games right now to set us up to be able to be in a crunch-time playoff game and know what to do out there and know how to react in these situations where we might overcome some adversity. I think all of the teams that we are playing in a row are going to help us become a better team. Coming out undefeated would make us a much better team because that is a tough schedule of opponents, and it is two away [games]. It's just going to help us become a much better team in crunch-time games."
Scotty Miller Returns
The Buccaneers retained seven receivers on the initial 53-man roster. The first four spots were cemented with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage Jr., and Julio Jones. The rest were up for the taking, sparking the greatest competition battle throughout camp. Scotty Miller challenged a crowded room featuring Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson, Jaelon Darden, Breshad Perriman, Deven Thompkins, Kaylon Geiger and Jerreth Sterns. Miller solidified his spot on the final 53, engendering gratitude.
"Obviously, it was going to be a fight for a roster spot," Miller responded. "We had, and still have, a really deep receiver room, so it was a battle. I'm just fortunate to be on the team right now and it's never going to stop being a fight. Got to keep grinding and keep trying to do my best every day."
Limited Single Game Tickets are available now! Click here to buy.