Second-year tight end Tanner Hudson made a cameo appearance on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' active roster over the weekend. This week he'll be fully in the scene.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers signed Hudson to their 53-man roster off of their own practice squad. The team had an open spot on that roster after waiving cornerback Mazzi Wilkins on Monday; Wilkins had himself been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday.
The Buccaneers also released rookie center Zach Shackelford from the practice squad on Tuesday but re-signed him on Wednesday. There were two other spots open on the 16-man practice squad thanks to the Hudson and Wilkins promotions, and those went to cornerback Ross Cockrell and tight end Daniel Helm.
Hudson actually played in the team's Week Two win over the Carolina Panthers after he was made available using the NFL's new practice squad "elevation" rule. After the game he reverted to the practice squad, but that proved temporary as the Bucs decided to make his spot more permanent in Week Three. The team had been down a tight end on the 53-man roster since placing Antony Auclair on injured reserve last Friday.
Hudson spent all of the 2019 season on Tampa Bay's active roster after a standout preseason performance. However, he was limited to nine games, one start and two receptions for 26 yards, seeing most of his action on special teams. He originally joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Arkansas in 2018, landing on the Bucs' practice squad for most of his rookie season before a promotion to the active roster in December.
Cockrell started 11 games for the Carolina Panthers last year and recorded 62 tackles, two interceptions and eight passes defensed. Originally a fourth-round pick by Buffalo in 2014, he has played for the Bills, Steelers and Giants in addition to the Panthers. Cockrell has appeared in 68 games with 43 starts, recording 219 tackles, seven interceptions and 44 passes defensed.
Helm spent most of last season on the practice squad in San Francisco; he was promoted to the active roster in December but did not appear in a regular-season game. He started training camp with the 49ers this year but was waived in mid-August and claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City waived Helm in the league-wide roster cut-down on September 6.
Coincidentally, both Cockrell and Helm played their college football at Duke.