Earlier in the week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers promoted Adam Humphries from the practice squad to address a wide receiver position suddenly thinned by injuries. On Saturday, the Buccaneers did the same thing for the defensive line.
Upon arriving in Atlanta, where they will take on the 6-1 Falcons on Sunday, the Bucs announced the signing of rookie defensive end Josh Shirley to the 53-man roster. Shirley had spent roughly a month on the team's practice squad after signing with the team on October 6. To make room for Shirley's elevation, the Buccaneers waived/injured third-year offensive tackle Reid Fragel.
Projected starters for the Falcons as listed on team depth chart.
Tampa Bay's official injury report on Friday listed defensive tackle Tony McDaniel as "out" with a groin injury and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald "doubtful" with a pectoral ailment. In addition, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy continues to deal with a shoulder injury, though he is probable for Sunday's game and has not missed any of the Bucs' first six contests.
Shirley is listed as a defensive end while the team's injury issues at the moment are concentrated on the defensive tackle position. Still, what the Buccaneers needed for Sunday was simply more depth along the entire line, since defensive ends William Gholston and George Johnson can also provide snaps on the interior line.
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Josh Shirley (6-1, 235) signed with the Oakland Raiders in May as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV, where he played his final season of college ball. Shirley also played three seasons at Washington, recording 21.5 sacks. He was waived by the Raiders in the final round of roster cuts and then added to the practice squad, where he spent one week before being released on September 16.
Fragel, who has split the first two months of the season between the active roster and practice squad in Tampa, has played in one game but was inactive last week due to a concussion sustained on the practice field. In Tampa Bay's win over Jacksonville in Week Five he played extensively as an extra blocker on the line with the team down to just two tight ends.