The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived first-year tight end Codey McElroy with an injury designation on Tuesday, one day before the start of training camp practices.
The move puts the Buccaneers' camp roster at 89 players, one below the limit. That spot was not immediately filled on Tuesday but likely won't remain open for long.
McElroy has spent the majority of the past two-and-a-half seasons on Tampa Bay's practice squad, though he had a brief stint on the active roster late in 2019, appearing in one game and recording one 30-yard reception. He was also elevated from the practice squad on several occasions last season, playing in two regular season contests.
McElroy first entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Southeastern Oklahoma, signing with the Los Angeles Rams in May of 2018. He also went to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. He first signed with the Buccaneers' practice squad in October of that same season.
The departure of McElroy gives the Buccaneers one fewer candidate in its efforts to replace the contributions of tight ends Rob Gronkowski, who retired in June, and O.J. Howard, who signed with the Buffalo Bills as an unrestricted free agent. The team still has six tight ends on the camp roster, including two experienced veterans, two 2022 draft picks and two undrafted rookies.
The veterans are Cameron Brate, who is third in franchise history with 33 touchdown receptions, and the recently-signed Kyle Rudolph, who 479 career receptions and most recently played for the New York Giants in 2021. The draft picks are fourth-rounder Cade Otton out of Washington and sixth-rounder Ko Kieft out of Minnesota; Otton has the potential to be a two-way 'Y' tight end while Kieft is known for his powerful blocking. Undrafted rookies Ben Beise of Wisconsin-River Falls and JJ Howland of Yale round out the group.