Cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Justin Watson returned to practice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, beginning the process that could bring either one or both back to the active roster.
Sherman has been on injured reserve since November 17 as the result of a calf injury he sustained in pregame warmups prior to the Buccaneers' Week 10 contest at Washington, while Watson began the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list after undergoing knee surgery in July. Both will now begin a 21-day window during which they can practice with the team without counting against the 53-man roster limit. They can be activated to that roster at any time during that window.
Sherman first joined the Buccaneers on September 29, following a rash of injuries at the cornerback position that quickly got to him as well. He started three games before sustaining a hamstring injury that kept him out for two weeks then suffered his mishap in warmups as he attempted to return to action. On Monday, Head Coach Bruce Arians said that Sherman would begin working at safety when he returned to practice, as the team is currently working with a thin roster at that position.
Sherman has played in 142 games with 136 starts in his career and is the NFL's active leader in interceptions with 36. He has earned five Pro Bowl invitations – four with Seattle and most recently one with San Francisco in 2019 – and has three times been named an Associated Press first-team All Pro. Sherman's career totals also include 115 passes defensed and 495 tackles, and in his brief stint with the Bucs earlier this season he recorded 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Watson was originally a fifth-round draft pick by the Buccaneers out of Penn in 2018. He played in 39 games over his first three seasons in Tampa, starting four and catching 23 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns. Watson was placed on the active/PUP list to start training camp and then transferred to reserve/PUP at the start of the season.