The Buccaneers' 53-Man roster.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed their roster cutdown to 75 players on Tuesday morning by waiving second-year wide receiver Donteea Dye and rookie offensive lineman Joel Hale. The team had previously trimmed 12 players from the roster on Sunday but needed to clear two more spots before the NFL's Tuesday afternoon deadline.
Dye, who suffered a leg injury on the opening kickoff of last Friday's win over Cleveland, was waived with an injured designation. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the Buccaneers' injured reserve list unless he and the team work out an injury settlement.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Heidelberg, Dye beat the odds to make the roster as a rookie in 2015, eventually appearing in 10 games with six starts. He finished the season with 11 receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown, and he caught pass for 20 yards during the first three games of the 2016 preseason.
Dye also returned two kickoffs for 37 yards in his rookie campaign and he was competing for that job this season. After three games, he led the team with a 25.8-yard average on four returns, with a long of 33.
The release of Dye leaves the Bucs with 10 receivers, including the starting duo of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson as well as number-one slot receiver Adam Humphries. Those three have combined to catch 16 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns through the first three games of the preseason. They are unlikely to see much, if any, action on Thursday night as the Bucs evaluate the other receivers currently battling for roster spots: Kenny Bell, Jonathan Krause, Freddie Martino, Bernard Reedy, Russell Shepard and Evan Spencer. The 10th player on the list is Louis Murphy, who is the most experienced of the team's reserve receivers but who is currently on the active/PUP list as he continues his return from a 2015 knee injury.
Hale, an undrafted rookie out of Ohio State, signed with the Buccaneers on July 26, just before the start of training camp. He appeared in each of the Bucs' first three preseason games as he attempted to convert to the offensive line from his college position of defensive tackle.
The Buccaneers must further reduce their roster to the regular-season limit of 53 players by Saturday, after playing their preseason finale against Washington on Thursday evening.