Deone Bucannon is back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just in time for the playoffs.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers signed Bucannon, an inside linebacker who played five games for them in 2019, to their practice squad. To make room on that 16-man crew, Tampa Bay released rookie guard Nick Leverett.
The Buccaneers do not expect starting inside linebacker Devin White to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Saturday's Wild Card playoff game at Washington. Bucannon adds depth at that position in practice and would be a candidate for a game day elevation from the practice squad.
Bucannon (6-1, 211) has much more experience in Tampa Bay's defense than last year's five-game stint, as he played four seasons (2014-17) with Bruce Arians in Arizona, the first of those with Todd Bowles as the defensive coordinator. Arians and the Cardinals drafted Bucannon out of Washington State with the 27th overall pick in 2014 and developed him into a safety-linebacker hybrid who would start 56 games over the next four seasons.
Bucannon primarily played on special teams for the Buccaneers in 2019 and was eventually released on October 9. He caught on quickly with the New York Giants and played in nine more games last year with one start. Bucannon became a free agent last spring and signed with Atlanta in May, eventually ending up on the Falcons' practice squad to start the season. He was released on September 29.
In all, Bucannon has played in 84 regular season games with 57 starts. He has recorded 434 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 15 QB hits, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 12 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.