The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived rookie wide receiver John Hurst after a brief stay on the active roster on Tuesday. Hurst had been activated from the injured reserve list after returning to practice last week.
The waiver of Hurst opens a spot on the 53-man roster that will be filled by new nose tackle Steve McLendon once he clears the COVID-19 protocol. The Buccaneers acquired McLendon in a swap of future late-round draft picks with the New York Jets on Tuesday.
The Buccaneers also made another change to their 16-man practice squad after announcing the re-signing of cornerback Mazzi Wilkins earlier in the day. This time, Tampa Bay added rookie defensive tackle Kobe Smith and released safety D'Cota Dixon.
Hurst joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of West Georgia, where he played in 35 games and caught 77 passes for 1,242 yards and 12 touchdowns. He originally made the final roster cut to 53 players in September but was then placed on injured reserve, where he spent the first six weeks of the season. He began practicing last week, beginning a 21-day window in which he wouldn't count against the 53-man roster before the team chose to either activate him or leave him on injured reserve.
Smith (6-2, 323) originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans this past spring. He spent the first two weeks of the regular-season on the Titans' practice squad before being waived on September 21. At South Carolina, he played in 48 games and recorded 84 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss.
Dixon joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin in 2019 but spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a shoulder ailment. He went to training camp with the Buccaneers again this week and spent the first six weeks on the practice squad. In 51 games with the Badgers he amassed 177 tackles, five interceptions, 16 passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.