For the seventh time this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad has filled a need on the active roster. The latest promotion goes to rookie wide receiver Evan Spencer, who has been on the practice squad since Week Three.
Spencer fills a spot created by the release of linebacker Orie Lemon. His promotion and the signing of wide receiver Rannell Hall by the Cleveland Browns left Tampa Bay with two subsequent openings on the 10-man practice squad. The Buccaneers also filled those spots before the start of the week's first practice by signing wide receiver Andre Davis and linebacker Darius Eubanks.
The Buccaneers are among the NFL's best offenses in terms of yards per game.
The 6-2, 208-pound Spencer played his college ball at Ohio State and was drafted in the sixth round this past spring by the Washington Redskins. He was waived by the Redskins with an injury settlement in the final round of roster cuts and signed by the Buccaneers to their practice squad on September 22.
Spencer played in 50 games for the Buckeyes and contributed 52 catches for 579 yards and seven touchdowns. As a senior in 2014 he helped Ohio State win the national championship, recording 15 catches for 149 yards and three scores.
Spencer is the seventh player to appear on the Buccaneers' active roster this season after first toiling on the practice squad, following cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, tight end Cameron Brate, wide receiver Donteea Dye, tackle Reid Fragel, defensive end Howard Jones and linebacker Josh Keyes. All but Fragel are still on the 53-man roster and their contributions have been significant. Adjei-Barimah has started the last seven games and has 38 tackles; Brate has caught 21 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns; Dye has started all four games that Vincent Jackson has missed due to injury; and Jones is third on the team with five sacks.
Davis returns for a second stint with the team. He signed to the Buccaneers' practice squad on October 28 and spent two weeks with that group before being released. A former team MVP for the nearby University of South Florida Bulls, Davis played his prep football at Jefferson High, just minutes away from Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers' home field. In 43 games and 30 starts at USF recorded 153 receptions, 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns. This spring, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills but was waived during the final roster cuts. He led the Bills in receptions during the preseason, hauling in nine passes for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Eubanks first entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 but was most recently on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad. He split his rookie season between the practice squad and active roster in Cleveland, appearing in nine games with one start and contributing 12 tackles. Eubanks spent the 2014 season on injured reserve, then was waived during training camp this past summer. He had been on the Cowboys' practice squad since mid-October but was released last Tuesday. At Georgia Southern, Eubanks started 51 of the 52 games in which he played and earned first-team All-Southern Conference honors as a senior.
Hall has been with the Buccaneers since signing as an undrafted free out of Central Florida in the spring. After an impressive showing in training camp, he spent all but two of the next 15 weeks on the Bucs' practice squad. Players on one team's practice squad are still free to sign with another team as long as they are being added to the new team's active roster.