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Bucs Elevate Patrick O'Connor for Houston Game

DL Patrick O'Connor was elevated from the practice squad on Saturday, making him eligible to play in Sunday's game against the Texans in Houston


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elevated veteran defensive lineman Patrick O'Connor from the practice squad on Saturday, making him eligible to play against the Houston Texans on Sunday. With Logan Hall already ruled out for the game and Vita Vea listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, O'Connor's elevation gives the Bucs some additional depth along the defensive front..

The NFL introduced the practice squad elevation option in 2020; it allows teams to activate up to two practice squad players for each game. By utilizing one of those two options in Week Nine, the Buccaneers have increased their game day roster to 54 players for their matchup with the Texans. They will be able to keep 48 of those player active for the game, naming six inactives prior to kickoff.

Each player on the practice squad can be elevated up to three times during the regular season and an unlimited amount of times in the postseason. After the game, elevated players automatically revert to the practice squad without having to pass through waivers. This is the second elevation of the season for O'Connor, who was also brought up from the practice squad in Week Two.

After his first elevation in September, O'Connor was then signed to the active roster in Week Three. He returned to the practice squad last week after the team waived him in order to open a spot on the 53-man roster for quarterback John Wolford. In all, O'Connor has appeared in three games this season.

O'Connor, a seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2017, first joined the Buccaneers as a waiver claim in the middle of his rookie season. In all, he has appeared in 60 games for Tampa Bay, totaling 20 sacks, 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits. He has also been a frequent contributor on special teams.

The practice squad elevation option was introduced as part of the new collective bargaining agreement in 2020. The new rule was something of a compromise, as it did not expand the active rosters beyond 53 players but did give teams a few more options on game days.

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