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Bucs Elevate CB Pitts, TE Wells for Saints Game

The Bucs addressed two positions that were down a player due to injuries by activating CB Derrek Pitts and TE David Wells for Sunday's game against the Saints


On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers elevated cornerback Derrek Pitts and tight end David Wells from the practice squad, making them both eligible to play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The Buccaneers used both of their elevation options in Week 17 to address positions that are down a regular contributor due to injuries. Cornerback Carlton Davis will not play in the game due to a concussion sustained early in last Sunday's win over Jacksonville, as he has not yet been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol. Tight end Ko Kieft also sustained a shoulder injury in that game and was ruled out on Friday.

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 both options this week, the Buccaneers have increased their game day roster to 55 players for their matchup with the Saints. They will be able to keep 48 of those player active for the game, naming seven 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 elevationof the season for Pitts and the first for Wells.

Both Pitts and Wells started the season on Tampa Bay's 53-man roster. Pitts appeared in two games in the season's first month and then played again in Week 15 at Green Bay following his first elevation. An undrafted rookie out of North Carolina State, he has recorded one tackle eachon defense and special teams. He was waived in Week Eight and signed to the practice squad in Week Nine.

Wells was on the active roster for the first 10 games of the season before being waived in Week 12 and then added back to the practice squad the next day. He played in the first four games of the season but was inactive for the next six when the Bucs turned to rookie Payne Durham as their third tight end. Wells had two catches during the first four games, the first two of his NFL career. The San Diego State product also played three games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021, starting one.

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, particularly with practice squads expanding to 16 spots.

View pictures from Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice on 12/28/2023

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