The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed fifth-year running back Charles Sims just before the NFL Draft this spring, but as it turns out he won't get a chance to recapture his 2015 form this fall. The Buccaneers placed Sims on injured reserve on Thursday, five days after he suffered a knee injury on the opening kickoff of the team's preseason game in Tennessee.
As a vested veteran, Sims is not subject to waivers and instead goes direction to I.R.
Sims first joined the Buccaneers as a third-round draft pick out of West Virginia in 2014. Another preseason injury cut his rookie season in half but he returned in 2015 to form one of the NFL's most prolific backfield duos with Doug Martin. Both backs topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage that year, with Sims rushing for 529 yards and adding 51 receptions for another 561 yards and four touchdowns.
Injuries kept Sims to just seven games in 2016, and while he played in all 16 contests last year he was limited to 21 carries for 95 yards and 35 receptions for 249 yards and one touchdown. The Buccaneers brought him back on a one-year contract for 2018, allowing him to compete for a role as the third-down back behind the projected backfield duo of Peyton Barber and rookie second-rounder Ronald Jones.
Sims' misfortune now turns the attention to a pair of young backs still battling for a spot behind Barber, Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers. Undrafted free agent Shaun Wilson, a big-play maker at Duke, saw his first preseason action in Tennessee and handled most of the kickoff and punt return work while rushing five times for 17 yards. First-year back Dare Ogunbowale has played extensively in the second halves of each of the first two preseason games and has fared well in the passing game with four receptions for 58 yards. The Buccaneers play their third preseason game, and first one at home, on Friday night against the Detroit Lions at Raymond James Stadium.