The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't leave a spot open on their roster for long, and they didn't end up sacrificing any depth along the interior defensive line with a pair of roster moves to start the bye week.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers signed fourth-year defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who was most recently in training camp with the Indianapolis Colts. This move came a day after the team released defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, who had helped provide depth on the line while injuries sidelined Vita Vea, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein.
Nunez-Roches, who played his college ball at Southern Miss, was a sixth-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015. He made active roster as a rookie and stayed there for most of the next three years except for a brief stint on Kansas City's practice squad to start the 2016 campaign. During those three seasons, he appeared in 34 games with 16 starts and contributed 51 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Last year, Nunez-Roches started 11 games and had 24 tackles and a half-sack.
The Chiefs gave Nunez-Roches a tender offer as a restricted free agent this past spring but then waived him in May. He was claimed off waivers by the Colts and went to camp in Indianapolis. During the 2018 preseason, he recorded six tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. The Colts waived Nunez-Roches during the final roster cuts on September 1.
The Buccaneers could come out of the bye week with more depth at defensive tackle than they've had since early in training camp. Vea just returned from a calf injury to make his NFL debut in Chicago last Sunday, and Allen could be back from a foot injury in Week Six. The Buccaneers have also gotten valuable work inside from defensive end Will Gholston in recent weeks and could continue to use him in that manner.