Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Presented by

Bucs Activate J.J. Russell, Justin Skule

The Buccaneers have elevated ILB J.J. Russell and T Justin Skule from the practice squad, making both players eligible to play on Sunday against the Cardinals


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a little last-minute shopping for their active roster on Saturday, getting it ready for their Christmas night game in Arizona. The team added depth at two positions for Sunday's contest by elevating inside linebacker J.J. Russell and tackle Justin Skule from the practice squad.

Russell, who also signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent this spring, played his college ball at Memphis. He gives the defense the preferred game day depth of four inside linebackers, joining K.J. Britt as backups to Lavonte David and Devin White. Russell was previously elevated in Weeks Eight and 15 and was on the active roster for Weeks Nine and 10. He has played in a total of three regular season games.

Skule has spent a total of 10 weeks in two different stints on the Bucs' practice squad. His elevation gives the Buccaneers insurance at the tackle position with starting left tackle Donovan Smith sidelined by a foot injury. Originally a sixth-round pick by San Francisco in 2019 out of Vanderbilt, Skule played in 31 games with 15 starts over the 2019-20 seasons for the 49ers.

The NFL introduced the elevation option in 2020, which allows teams to activate up to two players from their practice squad for each game. After the game, elevated players automatically revert to the practice squad without having to pass through waivers. Each individual player can be elevated a maximum of three times during the regular season; this is the third elevation for Russell and the first for Skule.

Related Content