The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed rookie safety Godwin Igwebuike to their active roster off the practice squad, adding depth to a secondary that will be missing one of its starters on Sunday against the New York Giants. To make room for Igwebuike on the 53-man roster, the Buccaneers waived defensive end Demone Harris.
Both Igwebuike and Harris signed with Tampa Bay as undrafted free agents in May, and both began the season on the team's practice squad. Harris got his promotion in Week Six and has played in one game. Now Igwebuike gets the call as the team prepares to play without starting safety Justin Evans, who suffered a toe injury last Sunday against Washington.
The Buccaneers have generally kept four safeties active on game days. Evans and Whitehead are the current starters but first-year man Isaiah Johnson has played extensively and October addition Andrew Adams has seen his role in sub packages grow significantly in recent weeks. Igwebuike played in three of the Bucs' four preseason games, starting the last one, and contributed 11 tackles and one pass defensed. He also played extensively on special teams and made two kick-coverage stops.
At Northwestern, Igwebuike (6-0, 212) played in 50 games with 43 starts and recorded 324 tackles, 31 passes defensed and seven interceptions. Three of those picks came in his very first start as a redshirt freshman. Igwebuike was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in each of his last two seasons.