The last-minute polishing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training camp roster continued on Wednesday as the team waived second-year defensive lineman Channing Ward with a non-football-injury designation. The Buccaneers then used the open spot to sign first-year offensive tackle Jerry Ugokwe.
The Buccaneers brought their camp roster to the 90-man limit on Monday by signing a pair of undrafted rookies, safety Josh Liddell and defensive end Kiante Anderson. The Ugokwe signing could be the last change to that roster before the team hits the practice field for the first time on Thursday, though there were surely be additional personnel moves throughout training camp.
Though Ugokwe and Ward play on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage, those two moves correspond with the most recent changes to the roster. The Buccaneers had gone down by one offensive linemen when they released J.R. Sweezy in late June, and they had gone up by one defensive linemen when they signed Anderson on Monday.
Ugokwe (6-7, 321) first entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2017, signing with Indianapolis in May. He started training camp with the Colts, then was waived on August 2 and claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints. Ugokwe did not make the 53-man roster in New Orleans but later spent two weeks on Washington's practice squad.
Ugokwe played his college football at William & Mary and was a starter for most of his four seasons with the Tribe, manning both left and right tackle. After opening seven of the eight games he played at left tackle as a freshman, Ugokwe went on to start 35 of William & Mary's 36 contests from 2014-16, missing one game due to injury. Playing right tackle in those three seasons, he won third-team all-conference honors as a junior and first-team accolades as a senior. Ugokwe was also named to the Associated Press All-America third team in 2016.
Ward joined the Bucs as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and made the regular-season roster, appearing in five games with one start. He spent most of last season on Tampa Bay's practice squad but earned a late-season promotion to the active roster and appeared in the season finale.