The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be getting another key offensive contributor back in action soon.
On Monday, the Buccaneers took Cameron Brate off the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning the veteran tight end is now cleared to return to practice. Brate had been placed on that list just before the start of camp due to an undisclosed injury. That move was made in order to keep open the possibility of him starting the regular season the reserve/PUP list, but now it appears that won't be necessary.
Brate may not immediately jump back into a full practice or see any playing time in the preseason opener on Saturday. When the Buccaneers took rookie cornerback Chris Wilcox off the active/PUP list at the beginning of last week it was still several more days before he put on a helmet.
Brate played in all 20 games last season with two starts, one each in the regular season and the postseason. He recorded 28 catches for 282 yards and two touchdowns and added 14 receptions for 175 yards and another score in the playoffs. Brate started the season as the third tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard but gradually adopted a larger role in the offense after Howard was lost to an Achilles tendon injury. Howard did not start training camp on the PUP list but did miss about a week of practice, so the Buccaneers' tight end depth chart is suddenly looking a lot more robust with both of those veterans returning to action.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Harvard, Brate is heading into his eighth season as a Buccaneer. He played sparingly as a rookie in 2014 but had developed into a very productive pass-catcher by 2016, when he racked up 57 catches and scored eight touchdowns. Brate has had a nose for the end zone throughout his career, so far recording 29 touchdown catches to rank fourth in that category in franchise history.
Overall, Brate has played in 98 games with 29 starts, amassing 223 receptions for 2,438 yards and those 29 scores.