Rookie RB Jacque Lewis rejoined the team in time to play in Friday's game
Jacque Lewis had weekend travel plans after all.
Lewis, the rookie running back out of North Carolina, got a last-minute ticket to Nashville when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called him back on Thursday afternoon. After being released on Wednesday to accommodate the team's re-signing of rookie quarterback Jared Allen, Lewis was re-signed on Friday after the team traveled to its preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans.
To make room for Lewis on the training camp roster, the team released rookie cornerback Kevin Arbet.
Lewis will suit up for Friday night's game and could see action against the Titans. Though Head Coach Jon Gruden has not released an extensive list of sidelined players for the game, Lewis' return could be tied to injuries to other backs on the roster.
Rookie starter Carnell Williams will likely not play extensively, and backs Mike Alstott (neck) and Charlie Garner (knee-PUP list) have been ruled out for the game. Second-year back Ian Smart sustained a groin strain in practice on Wednesday morning and could be a question mark for the game. RB Michael Pittman, last year's starter, could also sit out the game; he has been in and out of practice with a mild hamstring strain. And rookie fullback Rick Razzano hasn't practiced since the second day of camp due to a more significant hamstring pull.
Lewis, like Smart, fits the mold of a change-of-pace, third-down back – smaller and quick – but he is strong for his size. The 5-10, 192-pound back holds Tar Heel running back records in two weight-lifting categories as well as the long jump.
He did prove to be a big-play back for the Heels, averaging 5.4 yards per carry during his four-year collegiate career, including 6.1 as a junior and a career-high 7.5 as a senior. In 2003, he was responsible for three of North Carolina's six longest plays from scrimmage. Last year, while sharing time in the backfield with Chad Scott, Lewis ran 74 times for 569 yards and three touchdowns. Lewis' four-year totals at UNC include 321 carries for 1,746 yards and seven touchdowns, plus 61 receptions for 545 yards and five scores.
Arbet, a member of the national champion USC Trojans, was signed by the Buccaneers on April 26, a day after the conclusion of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in 12 games last year and contributed 26 tackles, one interceptions and two passes defensed.