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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Class Reunion

A series of roster moves on Thursday sent QB Brian Griese to injured reserve and also brought the Bucs’ entire 2005 draft class back into the fold


FB Rick Razzano is one of a dozen 2005 Buccaneer draft picks, all of whom are now on the active roster or the practice squad

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially put quarterback Brian Griese on injured reserve on Thursday, starting a string of roster moves that has brought the team's entire 2005 draft class back into the building.

Griese's move to IR opened up a space on the 53-man squad, which the Bucs filled by re-signing rookie fullback Rick Razzano. Razzano had only briefly left the active roster, as he was waived on Tuesday to make room for newly-acquired quarterback Tim Rattay.

A set of moves on Tuesday also left the team with an opening on the eight-man practice squad and the Bucs used that to re-sign another 2005 draftee, safety Hamza Abdullah.

With Razzano and Abdullah back in the fold, the team now has every one of its 2005 draft picks on either the active roster or the practice squad, which is particularly impressive given that the 12-man draft class was the Bucs' biggest in 12 years.

Each of the Bucs' first six 2005 draft picks – running back Carnell Williams, linebacker Barrett Ruud, tight end Alex Smith, tackle Chris Colmer, guard Dan Buenning and safety Donte Nicholson – is on the 53-man roster, as are Razzano, sixth-round defensive tackle Anthony Bryant and seventh-round wide receiver J.R. Russell.

The remaining three members of the '05 class – Abdullah, fifth-round wide receiver Larry Brackins and seventh-round wide receiver Paris Warren – are now on the practice squad. All but Abdullah have also been on the active roster at some point.

The Bucs' rookies are making a sizeable impact on the season, too. Williams is the team's leading rusher with 447 yards, despite missing most of the last three games. Buenning has started every game at left guard and helped the Bucs average 138.5 rushing yards per game. Ruud is one of the team's leading tacklers on special teams, with 10 stops and a fumble recovery. Smith has 14 catches and is second on the team with two touchdown receptions.

The Bucs confirmed on Wednesday that Griese would have surgery on his injured left knee and miss the rest of the 2005 campaign. The Bucs' starting quarterback since last October, Griese saw his season come to a premature end on Sunday when Miami Dolphins linebacker rolled backwards into the lower half of his planted left leg.

At the time of his injury, Griese had completed 112 of 174 passes on the season for 1,136 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a completion percentage of 64.4% and a passer rating of 79.6. Last year, in 11 games and 10 starts, he set team records in both of those categories, at 69.3% and 97.5, respectively.

Razzano has played in one game this season, appearing on special teams against the Dolphins. The first of four seventh-round draft picks the team made in April, he was inactive for the season opener before serving a four-game commissioner's suspension.

Abdullah, another '05 seventh-rounder, played in all four preseason games for the Buccaneers but was released during the final roster cut-down on September 3. During the preseason, he registered four tackles, an interception, a pass defensed and a stop on special teams. His signing helps ease a practice-field shortage at safety, as opening-day starters Jermaine Phillips (thumb) and Dexter Jackson (hamstring) are both ailing. Phillips is expected to return for the San Francisco game on October 30, but the Bucs expect to be without Jackson for a few more weeks.

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