Freddie Martino apparently did well in his 2017 audition last Sunday.
On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers promoted the second-year wide receiver from the practice squad to the active roster for the second time in as many weeks. To make room on the 53-man roster, the team waived wide receiver Bernard Reedy.
Martino spent the first nine weeks of the season on the Buccaneers' practice squad but was elevated to the active roster last week to play against the New York Jets while the team was without wide receiver Mike Evans. Martino was then waived and subsequently re-signed to the practice squad after Evans returned from his one week NFL suspension. Martino also split the 2016 season between Tampa Bay's practice squad and active roster, though he spent the bulk of that year active, appearing in 13 games.
Both Martino and Reedy bring special teams value. Martino had two tackles in kickoff coverage in his one game of the year, both of them inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Reedy handled all of the Bucs' punt and kickoff returns through the first nine games, averaging 10.2 yards on 14 punt returns and 20.7 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Martino might play a larger role on offense, however. He saw 13 snaps as a receiver in the game against the Jets; Reedy's single-game high was seven snaps in the season opener. Of course, the absence of Evans last Sunday likely contributed to Martino's playing time. Last year, Martino played 174 offensive snaps in 13 games, contributing eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown.
With Reedy off the roster, the Buccaneers will have at least one new contributor in the return game on Sunday in Miami. Tampa Bay's depth chart lists wide receiver Adam Humphries and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves as the next two options for punt return, though Hargreaves has already been ruled out for Sunday's contest. Cornerback Ryan Smith and safety Justin Evans are listed as the second and third options on kickoff return.