Former Bear Dion Byrum, a rookie cornerback, is the eighth member of the Bucs' practice squad
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have completed the first iteration of their practice squad, utilizing the eighth and final spot on rookie cornerback Dion Byrum.
On Monday, the team announced the initial seven players signed to that crew: defensive end Charles Bennett, defensive tackle Anthony Bryant, running back Lionel Gates, wide receiver Chas Gessner, offensive lineman Scott Jackson, fullback Rick Razzano and tackle Dennis Roland. Each team in the league is allowed to maintain an eight-man practice squad throughout the regular season and postseason.
Byrum entered the league this past May as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears. He was a three-year starter at Ohio University, playing in 45 career games with 32 starts and recording 147 career tackles, 10 interceptions and 39 passes defensed. Byrum also has experience as a return man; for the Bobcats, he returned 57 punts for 471 yards and 58 kickoffs for 1,195 yards.
The 5-10, 192-pound Byrum hails from Matthews, North Carolina.
Practice squad players are eligible to participate in practice, naturally, but they cannot play in the games unless they are signed to the 53-man roster. All practice squad players in the league remain free agents in terms of active-roster signings; that is, a team may sign a player from another team's practice squad at any time as long as they are adding him to the 53-man roster.
The Buccaneers also announced on Friday that veteran tackle Torrin Tucker has been released from injured reserve. Tucker, who saw only limited action in training camp and participated in none of the preseason games due to a knee ailment, was placed on the IR list on Saturday when the team reduced its roster to 53 players. The Bucs originally acquired the former Cowboy as a restricted free agent this past spring.