The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cornerback position is slowly returning to its opening-day shape.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers designated cornerback Carlton Davis III to return to practice, beginning the process of his return to the active roster and a starting spot in the secondary. The Bucs now have a 21-day window during which Davis can practice with the team without counting against the 53-man roster. Davis can be activated to that roster at any point during those three weeks.
The Buccaneers also re-signed wide receiver John Hurst to the practice squad. The Bucs had an open spot on that 16-man crew and the need for another pass-catcher after the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Jaydon Mickens to their active roster on Tuesday.
Davis landed on injured reserve on October 7 after suffering a calf injury in Tampa Bay's Week Four win at New England. His return to practice follows Monday's activation of cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who had been on injured reserve since Week One. The Buccaneers still have two cornerbacks – Richard Sherman and Rashard Robinson – on injured reserve – but they are close to having available their primary starters from the beginning of the season in Davis, Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean.
Davis started the first four games of the season and contributed 15 tackles, one interception and five pases defensed. Since arriving as a second-round draft pick in 2018, the former Auburn star has played in 45 games with 44 starts and amassed 183 tackles, six interceptions and 46 passes defensed. Over the previous two seasons (2019-20) he led all NFL players with 37 passes defensed.
Hurst first ented the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Tampa Bay in May of 2020. He initially made the Buccaneers' 53-man roster to start last season but was then placed on injured reserve. Hurst came off the IR list in October before being shifted to the Bucs' practice squad. After he was released from that unit in November he quickly signed to the Los Angeles Chargers' practice squad. He returned to the Buccaneers on September 21 but was then released on November when the team signed Breshad Perriman to the practice squad.
Hurst went to training camp with Los Angeles this summer but was released at the end of the preseason. He caught two passes for 20 yards in the preseason. Hurst played his college football at West Georgia, appearing in 35 games and catching 77 passes for 1,242 yards and 12 touchdowns.