Head Coach Greg Schiano calls the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' current roster a "fluid situation," and on Tuesday it flowed in several different directions.
Eighth-year defensive tackle Gary Gibson, one of 21 players released on Saturday as the Buccaneers trimmed the roster to 53 players, was re-signed. A spot was made available for Gibson's return when fourth-year cornerback Danny Gorrer was placed on injured reserve/designated for return.
The Buccaneers also tweaked their brand-new practice squad on Tuesday, signing wide receiver Skye Dawson and releasing tackle Jace Daniels. Dawson's most recent football action was actually in Tampa, as he played for Washington against the Buccaneers in last Thursday's preseason finale, catching one pass for 11 yards before being waived by the Redskins on Sunday. Dawson and Daniels both entered the league as an undrafted free agents this spring; Dawson played his college ball at TCU.
Gorrer is only the second Buccaneer player ever to receive that new I.R. designation, an option that was introduced by the NFL last year. Each team may use the "designated for return" option on just one player a year; last year, cornerback Anthony Gaitor had that distinction as he recovered from a hamstring strain. A player placed on injured reserve/designated for return can come back to the active roster in the same season after missing eight games, and he may begin practicing with the team after six games. Gorrer recently underwent surgery to repair a groin injury suffered during the first week of the preseason.
The move to bring back Gibson marks the second way the Buccaneers have addressed their interior line depth after Saturday's cuts left the team with only three defensive tackles on the active roster. On Sunday, the Buccaneers put in a successful claim to grab rookie defensive tackle off waivers from the Houston Texans.
Gibson is obviously familiar with Tampa Bay's defense, having played in 16 games with one start last year in his first season with the Buccaneers. He contributed 18 tackles, three for losses, and a fumble recovery in 2012 after spending the three previous seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Overall Gibson, who began his career in 2007 with the Carolina Panthers, has played in 65 NFL games with 23 starts and recorded 74 tackles and three sacks.
The "designated for return" option gives Gorrer the chance to contribute to the Buccaneers' secondary this year after his injury has healed. Any subsequent players Tampa Bay places on I.R. this year will be out for the remainder of the season. Before his injury, Gorrer got off to a good start in 2013 with an interception, two passes defensed and a solo tackle in limited playing time against the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason opener.
Last year, Gorrer joined the Bucs at midseason and eventually saw action in six games, with one start. He finished the season with nine tackles, one interception and two passes defensed. The Bucs originally snagged Gorrer off waivers from Seattle last season on October 31. Gorrer had been with the Seahawks for two months but hadn't seen any game action, but he did play extensively for Baltimore in 2011.
The 6-0, 180-pound Gorrer first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, signing on with the New Orleans Saints in May of 2009. He started his rookie season on the Saints' practice squad but was quickly plucked off that crew by the Rams, who put Gorrer on their active roster. He then played in three games with one start for St. Louis, pitching in with five tackles and one pass defensed before spending most of the second half of the season as a game-day inactive.
The Saints got a chance to get Gorrer back in 2010 when he was cut by the Rams before training camp, but he was in New Orleans for just two months before hopping to Indianapolis and then Baltimore. After a season on the Ravens' practice squad, he got a chance to play in 2011 and appeared in 11 games with five tackles and four passes defensed.