WR Mario Urrutia caught seven passes for 85 yards during the preseason
For the second straight weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have adjusted their 53-man roster the day before their scheduled game. Once again, it is apparently in response to the team's injury situation.
On Saturday, the Buccaneers signed wide receiver Mario Urrutia to the active roster off the practice squad. To make room for Urrutia, the team released linebacker Matt McCoy.
Last Saturday, Tampa Bay placed rookie cornerback E.J. Biggers on injured reserve and signed safety Steve Cargile, who was subsequently released this past week.
The promotion of Urrutia is likely a safeguard against being shorthanded at the receiver position against the New York Giants on Sunday. Wideout Maurice Stovall, who had three catches for 80 yards against Buffalo last weekend, is doubtful for the game due to a knee ailment and is almost certain not to play. Fellow receiver Antonio Bryant, who is expected to be the primary target in the Bucs' passing attack this season, might be able to play but is considered questionable. Before the addition of Urrutia, the Bucs had just three other healthy receivers to put on the field.
Urrutia didn't join the Buccaneers until the team was a week into its 2009 training camp; the team was hurting at the receiver position then, too, but had already become interested in the 6-5, 232-pound athlete after he had been released days earlier by the Jets. Urrutia made an instant impression on his first day of training camp, splitting two defenders for a long touchdown, and continued to open eyes throughout the month of August. The former Louisville standout caught seven passes for 85 yards during the Buccaneers' four preseason games.
Though that wasn't enough to earn Urrutia a spot on the 53-man roster – he was released on September 5 during the final cut-downs – he was quickly re-signed to the practice squad the next day.
Urrutia was a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 after a collegiate career in which he averaged 17.5 yards per catch and scored 16 touchdowns among his 130 receptions. During a fabulous 2008 season for the Cardinals, Urrutia looked impressive against the Kansas State Wildcats, whose defensive coordinator at the time was current Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris.
McCoy appeared in the Buccaneers' first two games of the season, primarily on special teams though he also saw limited action at weakside linebacker. He was tied for third on the team with two kick-coverage tackles. McCoy actually started the game at the Will position in the season opener against Dallas as usual starter Geno Hayes was briefly benched for arriving at the stadium late that morning.
McCoy was on the Bucs' roster for 12 games last season, appearing in five contests and tallying three tackles on defense plus seven stops and a forced fumble on special teams. He has also played for Philadelphia and New Orleans and was originally a second-round pick by the Eagles in 2005.