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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Sign Charles Kirby

The Bucs make a switch on the practice squad, bringing in fullback Charles Kirby to replace fullback Matt Keller


FB Charles Kirby becomes the second ex-Chief on the Bucs' current practice squad

Charles Kirby wore jersey number 48 in Kansas City, and if he is assigned that same number in Tampa, he'll be the fourth Buccaneer to wear it this season. He hopes to the be last.

On Tuesday, Kirby, a 61, 249-pound fullback, was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their practice squad, replacing FB Matt Keller, who was released. Since there is only one true fullback, Mike Alstott, on the Bucs' active roster, Keller could have been in a position to eventually turn that practice squad job into a permanent position. Now that opportunity will fall to Kirby, who was in the Kansas City Chiefs' camp this August.

Tampa Bay has been slim at fullback since Kevin McLeod was discovered to have a heart ailment in late August. During the offseason, a group of fullback hopefuls was added to the roster, including former Packer Jim Kitts, who first wore number 48. When Kitts was released and replaced on the roster by Maryland rookie John Waerig, the number 48 was passed on. It was later worn for about a week by tight end Blake Spence, before Spence made the active roster and switched to number 84.

Kirby, who lettered four times at Virginia and is a former college teammate of Buccaneer CB Ronde Barber, was on the Chiefs' practice squad for the second half of 1999 after spending the 1998 season on the Indianapolis Colts' injured reserve list (Achilles). As a Cavalier, Kirby carried the ball 34 times for 116 yards, caught12 passes for 126 yards and blocked for Barber's running back brother, Tiki, now of the New York Giants.

Kirby is also the second former Chief on the Bucs' practice squad, joining QB Ted White.

Like the other four members on Tampa Bay's practice squad – White, DE Chartric Darby, CB Anthony Midget and WR Frank Murphy – Keller was signed by the team on August 28. Keller was a standout at Ohio State before spending the 2000 summer with the Arizona Cardinals.

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