CB Sammy Davis had two tackles, a fumble recovery and two passes defensed for the Bucs during the preseason
It is never helpful, obviously, to lose a starting cornerback to injury. The timing might be particularly bad for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week if standout corner Brian Kelly is unable to play due to a groin injury suffered in the season opener.
Visiting Raymond James Stadium this Sunday: the New Orleans Saints and last year's top-ranked passing attack.
Thus, the Buccaneers have made a roster move to help counter Kelly's potential absence, re-signing cornerback Sammy Davis, who went to training camp with the team this summer. The Bucs made room for Davis on the 53-man roster by releasing second-year cornerback Anthony Madison.
Presumably, Davis is considered a safer bet to execute the Buccaneers' defensive schemes if needed this weekend. A former first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2003, Davis signed with the Buccaneers in March and spent the entire offseason learning the team's defense. Madison, originally an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, is considered a strong special teams player and an intriguing prospect, but he has only been with the team for nine days. The Bucs claimed Madison off waivers from the Steelers on September 2.
The Bucs will not have an official injury report until Wednesday, and players are not designated as "doubtful, questionable or probable," until Friday under the new NFL procedure.
However, if Kelly is unable to play on Sunday, the Bucs would likely elevate Phillip Buchanon to the starting lineup opposite Ronde Barber. Buchanon, who signed with the Buccaneers last October, started four late-season games after learning the defense and quickly impressed the coaching staff. Davis would then be the only other cornerback on the depth chart and a candidate to play the nickel back role. The Buccaneers could also employ rookie safety Tanard Jackson, a converted cornerback, in nickel packages.
The 6-1, 195-pound Davis has played in 57 NFL games with 31 starts. His career statistics include 152 tackles, three interceptions, 31 passes defensed, one sack, one forced fumble and three stops on special teams. Last year in San Francisco, Davis played in 13 games with one start and posted 30 tackles and eight passes defensed.
That was Davis' first year with the 49ers after he spent his first three NFL campaigns in San Diego. The 30th overall selection in the 2003 draft, Davis started all 16 games as a rookie and contributed 58 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defensed, all career highs. Following the 2005 season, Davis was traded to San Francisco for wide receiver Rashaun Woods.
Davis played in four preseason games for the Buccaneers in August and compiled two tackles, a fumble recovery and two passes defensed.