Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Release T Petitgout, Sign FB Runnels

Veteran tackle Luke Petitgout, who missed 12 games in 2007 and spent the 2008 training camp on the PUP list, was released/failed physical on Saturday…The Bucs used the open spot to sign third-year FB J.D. Runnels

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T Luke Petitgout started the first four games of the 2007 season before he was felled by a knee injury

Luke Petitgout signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007 in order to be the veteran anchor for a young and talented offensive line. As it would turn out, Petitgout would play in just four games as a Buccaneer, as he was instead derailed by injuries.

On Saturday, the Buccaneers released the 10th-year offensive tackle (designated – failed physical) from the Physically Unable to Perform list. Tampa Bay then used the open roster spot to sign J.D. Runnels, a third-year fullback out of Oklahoma.

Before signing with Tampa Bay, Petitgout played in 113 games with 106 starts for the New York Giants, the team that drafted him in the first round (19th overall) in 1999. Petitgout manned three different positions along the line during his eight seasons in New York, originally starting at right guard as a rookie. In 2000, he moved to right tackle and was the starter for a Giants team that reached Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. From 2002-06 Petitgout manned the left tackle position in New York before a broken leg cost him the last seven games of the '06 season. He was released by the Giants in February of 2007 and signed a few weeks later by the Buccaneers.

Petitgout moved right into Tampa Bay's starting lineup at the beginning of the 2007 season and was at left tackle for four games before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week Four at Carolina. Petitgout also was limited by back issues in his first Buccaneer training camp. This season, he was expected to compete with Donald Penn, his replacement in 2007, for the starting left tackle spot but instead spent the entire camp on the PUP list.

The 5-11, 237-pound Runnels first entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 2006. He made the team as a rookie and got into two games but was used sparingly. He spent the 2007 season on injured reserve after hurting his knee in an offseason mini-camp, then was released by the Bears just before training camp this summer.

At Oklahoma, Runnels played in 53 games and carried twice for five yards while also catching 51 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns. The 24-year-old hails from Midwest City, Oklahoma.

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