The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive line, which has seen a steady series of changes in the second half of the season, got another addition on Tuesday when the team signed second-year pass-rushing end Nick Reed. Reed played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 and was most recently with the Chicago Bears.
With the team's first workout of the week scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, the Buccaneers also filled out the practice squad by bringing in three newcomers: defensive tackle Lamar Divens, offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll and fullback Austin Sylvester.
No additional moves were necessary to make those signings possible. Two spots were created on the 53-man roster on Monday when both linebacker and defensive tackle John McCargo went to injured reserve, and the elevation of defensive tackle Frank Okam from the practice squad only filled one of them. That move, plus Monday's release of running back Nic Grigsby and last Friday's promotion of safety Ahmad Black created a trio of practice squad openings.
Reed (6-1, 248) first came to the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks out of the University of Oregon in 2009. He had an impressive opening training camp and made the 53-man roster, then was used as a situational pass-rusher and special teams player. He played in all 16 games as a rookie and contributed 17 tackles, one sack and two passes defensed. In an October 11 game against the Jaguars, Reed recorded his first NFL sack and also returned a fumble 79 yards for a touchdown.
Reed was released by the Seahawks with an injury settlement just prior to the 2010 campaign and signed just after the season with the Bears. He made Chicago's active roster out of training camp this year and appeared in seven games, recording six tackles and a pass defensed. He played against the Buccaneers in the International Series game in London in Week Seven, contributing one tackle. The Bears released Reed on November 14.
Reed finished his college career with a school-record 29.5 sacks, the fourth highest total in Pac-10 history. He also racked up 53.5 tackles for loss, the most in Oregon's school annals. After amassing 13 sacks and 20 tackles for loss as a senior in 2008, Reed earned All-America honors and was one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, given each year to the nation's top collegiate defensive end.
The 6-3, 338-pound Divens originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with San Diego in 2008 but has spent most of his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore snapped him up off waivers when the Chargers released him near the end of his rookie preseason, and he went on to see action in three regular-season games that year before spending the last month on injured reserve. Injuries claimed his 2009 season, too, but he re-signed with the Ravens as an exclusive rights free agent during the 2010 offseason and eventually played in two more games last year. Divens was released by Baltimore during the final roster cuts this season. He began his college career at Vanderbilt before transferring to Tennessee State.
Ingersoll (6-5, 303) signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs this past July but was eventually released on the final roster cutdown. At the University of North Carolina, he played in 45 games and started 25 at right tackle over his final two seasons. He initially arrived in Chapel Hill as a tight end but moved to the offensive line for good in 2009. He hails from Mint Hill, North Carolina.
Sylvester (6-1, 248) also entered the league as an undrafted free agent this year, signing with the Denver Broncos. He was waived at the end of the preseason but then signed to the Broncos' practice squad, where he spent the first six weeks of the regular season. In four seasons at the University of Washington, Sylvester played in 37 games and started six as a senior in 2010. He was primarily a special teams player before his senior campaign but was the number-one fullback throughout that final season. Sylvester caught four passes for 24 yards and helped the Huskies' running backs gain 152.0 rushing yards per game.