Cam Brate may become the first Tampa Bay Buccaneer to lead all NFL tight ends in touchdown receptions in more than three decades, but he won't have a chance to add to his total in the regular-season finale.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers placed Brate on injured reserve and used the resulting roster spot to bring back rookie running back Russell Hansbrough. The team also made a move on the practice squad, re-signing guard Josh Allen and releasing defensive tackle Rodney Coe. In addition, cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah has been transferred from the exempt/commissioner list to injured reserve, though that does not affect the 53-man roster.
Brate is the Buccaneers' second-leading pass-catcher, with 57 receptions for 660 yards. Before suffering a back injury in Saturday's game against New Orleans, he scored on a 12-yard catch, recording his eighth touchdown of the season. That tied a franchise single-season record for tight ends and put him at the top of the NFL chart in that category at his position. The Buccaneers still have three tight ends on their roster for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, but Brate had emerged as a key component to the passing attack. He and wide receiver Mike Evans have combined to score 19 of the team's 28 receiving touchdowns, and Brate has 40 more catches than the rest of the tight ends on the roster combined.
The Buccaneers signed Hansbrough off the New York Giants' practice squad, but the rookie runner began his career in Tampa. An undrafted free agent out of Missouri, he has spent five weeks on the Bucs' practice squad and had two stints on the active roster. He appeared in one game, at Carolina in Week Five, but did not log a carry. In the preseason, Hansbrough played in all four games and recorded 22 carries for 50 yards, seven receptions for 32 yards and two special teams tackles.
Pictures of the Top 10 Panthers in Week 16, according to their Pro Football Focus player grade.
Adjei-Barimah served as the Buccaneers' primary nickel back for much of the season but missed Games 11-14 while serving a league suspension. He has been eligible to return since last week but was not healthy enough to return to action. Adjei-Barimah played in 10 games with one start and contributed 22 tackles, two sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble.
Allen was with the Buccaneers for the first three months of the season, first on the practice squad before his promotion to the active roster in Week 11. He was on the roster but inactive for the team's wins over Seattle and San Diego. Coe has had two stints on Tampa Bay's practice squad totaling 13 weeks.