Former Vikings CB Marcus McAuley started nine games as a rookie in 2007
As has been the case on most Tuesdays during the 2009 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made some roster adjustments before beginning the next week of practice. This week, there were was one new addition to the 53-man roster as well as one more player lost for the season.
The new Buccaneer is third-year cornerback Marcus McCauley, a former third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. The unfortunate player whose season came to an end Tuesday was veteran fullback B.J. Askew, who was placed on the reserve/non-football injury (NFI) list.
The team also released cornerback Derrick Roberson from the 53-man roster and re-signed him to its practice squad. The trio of maneuvers leaves the Buccaneers with one open spot on the roster, which will likely be filled before the team begins practice on Wednesday.
Askew will miss the rest of the season after sustaining back and neck injuries in a car accident early last week. He had played in the Bucs' first five games, with two starts, and was the only listed fullback on the team's roster. Versatile running back Earnest Graham assumed the lead-blocking duties on Sunday against Carolina and has proved both adept and willing in that role.
Askew, a seventh-year veteran who began his career with the New York Jets, is in his third season with the Buccaneers and each one has been interrupted by injuries. He lost six games in 2008 due to a hamstring ailment and was kept out of three contests in 2007 with an ankle injury.
Askew's misfortune pushes the number of Buccaneers on various reserve lists in 2009 to nine. Seven Tampa Bay players are on injured reserve – punter Josh Bidwell, cornerback E.J. Biggers, wide receiver Kelly Campbell, linebacker Angelo Crowell, tackle Xavier Fulton, safety Jermaine Phillips and fullback Byron Storer – and guard Arron Sears is on the reserve/did not report list.
The Vikings nabbed McCauley with the 72nd overall pick in 2007 and he played in 26 games with 10 starters over the next two seasons. As a rookie, McCauley played in all 16 games and opened nine of them, contributing 62 tackles, 10 passes defensed, one tackle for loss, one quarterback pressure and three stops on special teams. Last year, he appeared in 10 contests with one start and added four tackles and two stops on special teams.
The 6-1, 203-pound McCauley went to training camp with the Vikings again in 2009 but was released on the final roster cut-down. He was claimed off waivers by Detroit and appeared in one game for the Lions before being waived on September 29.
McCauley played his college football at Fresno State, appearing in 51 career games with 32 starts. He helped the Bulldogs to three consecutive bowl games and was a second-team all-conference selection as a junior. McCauley hails from Rancho Cordova, California.
Roberson was promoted to the Buccaneers' practice squad last Saturday but he was inactive for Sunday's game against Carolina. He had spent the previous four weeks on Tampa Bay's practice squad after signing with the team on September 15.