As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to tweak their defensive line group, their most recent move is to give a young player his first shot.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers released veteran defensive end Will Clarke and filled the open roster spot with the promotion of rookie defensive end Demone Harris from the practice squad. Originally an undrafted rookie signing of the University at Buffalo this spring, Harris went to training camp with the Bucs and has spent the first five weeks of the regular-season on the practice squad.
The Buccaneers also filled the opening on the practice squad created by Harris's promotion, signing rookie wide receiver Damoun Patterson, who went to training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wednesday's switch at defensive end is the second alteration to the D-Line depth chart since the Buccaneers finished the first quarter of the season and went into their bye. Last week, the team signed defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and released defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.
Harris (6-4, 272) played in all four preseason games for the Buccaneers and contributed two passes defensed. At Buffalo, he played in 43 career games and recorded 107 tackles, 9.5 sacks and three passes defensed. He finished with a five-sack campaign as a senior in 2017.
Clarke has played in 18 games for the Buccaneers over the last two seasons, including three this year. He initially made the 53-man roster to start this season but was then waived at the beginning of Week One when the team claimed defensive end Carl Nassib off waivers. Clarke returned in Week Two and appeared in the next three games, though he only had a combined five defensive snaps in the last two outings.
Patterson (6-2, 190) signed with the Steelers in May as an undrafted free agent after finishing his college career at Youngstown State. He was placed on injured reserve during the final roster cuts and then waived with an injury settlement. Patterson played two seasons for Youngstown State, recording 52 receptions for 1,039 yards and six touchdowns. He played one season at Utah State in 2014 before transferring to Highland Community College. Patterson is a native of Apopka, Florida, hometown of Buccaneer Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.