(From left) S De'von Hall was released by the Colts on Monday; FB Jehuu Caulcrick joined Tampa Bay's practice squad; RB Cadillac Williams is up for this week's NFL Ground Player award
De'von Hall began his professional football career in Minnesota, spent the bulk of the 2009 season in Indianapolis and will now finish his first NFL season in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Hall, a rookie safety out of Utah State, off waivers from the Colts on Tuesday, filling the remaining roster spot created when fullback Earnest Graham and defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson were placed on injured reserve on Monday. The other spot went to rookie tight end Ryan Purvis, who was promoted from the Bucs' practice squad on Monday afternoon.
Purvis' promotion also opened a spot on Tampa Bay's eight-man practice squad, which the team used to sign first-year fullback Jehuu Caulcrick on Tuesday. Caulcrick was most recently with the New York Jets.
The 6-3, 212-pound Hall went undrafted this past April but was then signed by the Minnesota Vikings on April 27. He made it to the final roster cut-down in Minnesota but was released on September 5 and then signed by Indianapolis to its practice squad four days later. The Colts promoted Hall to the active roster on November 21 and he subsequently played in four games, contributing one solo tackle on defense and two stops on special teams. Indianapolis waived Hall on Monday.
The Buccaneers' now have two players from Utah State on their active roster, as Hall and starting left tackle Donald Penn were teammates in 2005 as a freshman and senior, respectively. Hall started six games that season and contributed 44 tackles after making the switch from wide receiver to linebacker. He started the next two seasons at linebacker before moving to his current position as a senior in 2008. In Hall's one year at safety he started 12 games and racked up 72 tackles and one sack. The 22-year-old Hall hails from Reseda, California.
Caulcrick spent his rookie season on the Jets' practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State on May 2, 2008. He went back to training camp with New York this past summer but was let go on the final roster cuts of September 5. He briefly signed with the Jets' practice squad again but has been a free agent for most of the 2009 season.
The 6-0, 255-pound Caulcrick actually played more tailback than fullback at Michigan State despite his size, and he finished his four-year collegiate career with an outstanding senior season, earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten status despite splitting time with Javon Ringer. Caulcrick ran 222 times for 872 yards and 21 touchdowns, leading the conference and finishing 11th nationally in points scored per game. He finished his four-year Spartan career with 532 carries for 2,395 yards and 39 touchdowns, ranking second in school history in career TDs.
Caulcrick was born in Liberia and spent much of his childhood in refugee camps after his father, a politician and security chief for the Liberian secretary of state was killed in a massacre. Caulcrick moved to New York at the age of nine with his mother and sister and found football for the first time at Clymer Central High School after discovering that the school had no soccer team. Caulcrick ran for a state Class D record 6,559 yards and 100 touchdowns and was the Class D player of the year as a senior.
Cadillac Williams' first 100-yard rushing game in three years has him in line to take home the kind of hardware that was commonplace in his first two seasons in the league.
Williams, who has fought back from two major knee injuries suffered in 2007 and 2008, ran 24 times for 129 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in the Buccaneers' rousing 20-17 overtime win at New Orleans.
Thanks to that performance, Williams is one of three finalists for the NFL's Ground Player of the Week, joining the Cleveland Browns' Jerome Harrison and the Carolina Panthers' Jonathan Stewart. The winner will be determined by an online vote by fans held at NFL.com.
To cast your vote for Williams, please click here. Voting began on Tuesday and will continue through Friday at noon.
Williams scored on a 23-yard run in the fourth quarter to cap a 98-yard drive (tied for the longest in team history) and pull the Buccaneers within seven points at 17-10. After the Bucs tied the game in regulation and won the coin toss to start overtime, Williams ran eight times on a nine-play drive, gaining 40 yards to set up Connor Barth's game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Williams' carries and yards were season highs, and it was his first time past the century mark since December 19, 2006, when he had 122 yards against Washington.