The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will start a new week of training camp with two extra players on offense. On Sunday, the Buccaneers announced that rookie running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and that third-year wide receiver Jaydon Mickens has been re-signed.
Vaughn was placed on the reserve list on July 27, shortly before the team started their revised training camp with a period of strength and conditioning work. He did not count against the camp roster limit while on that list but will now and will be able to take part in practice. The Buccaneers currently have no players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The new reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, his club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player's medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
The Buccaneers drafted Vaughn in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he has a chance to play a significant role in the team's offensive backfield, alongside incumbent starter Ronald Jones and recently-signed veteran LeSean McCoy. Vaughn's return comes before the team starts full-scale training camp practices next week.
Mickens had been released on July 31 along with wide receiver Spencer Schnell, but his return could be a reaction to one or more injuries in his position group. Head Coach Bruce Arians mentioned on Wednesday of last week that Tyler Johnson, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick out of Minnesota, is currently sidelined by a "little bit of an injury."
This will be Mickens' fifth NFL training camp. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Washington, he started out with the Raiders in 2016 and spent that entire season on Oakland's practice squad. He went back to camp with the Raiders the following summer but was waived in the final roster cuts, eventually ending up in Jacksonville midway through 2017. He remained with the Jaguars through March of 2019, though he spent half of the 2018 season on injured reserve. The Carolina Panthers brought Mickens back into the league just before camp last year but he did not make the active roster and next resurfaced in Tampa for the last two weeks of the 2019 season.
Mickens played in the season finale for Tampa Bay, though his only statistics were pair of fair catches on punts. However, the 5-10, 175-pound wideout did get into 16 games with the Jaguars in 2017-18, mostly as a return man. He averaged 8.9 yards per return on 39 punts and 21.1 yards per runback on eight kickoffs. Mickens also caught six passes for 77 yards in 2017, most of it coming in a 61-yard outing against Houston.