The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster will have three new faces as the team heads into December.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers placed both safety Cody Grimm and tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Those moves, combined with the suspension of cornerback Eric Wright by the NFL on Monday created a trio of open spots on the active roster. The team filled one of those three immediately by claiming wide receiver David Gilreath off waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers; the other two will almost certainly be filled before the start of the practice week on Wednesday.
The Bucs also switched out one spot on their eight-man practice squad, signing rookie safety Sean Baker and releasing G Chris Scott.
Gilreath entered the league as an undrafted free agent with Indianapolis in 2011. He split his rookie season between practice squads in Indy, St. Louis and Buffalo, then signed with Pittsburgh in January. The 5-10, 169-pound Gilreath had a strong preseason with the Steelers, catching five passes for 78 yards and also getting a look on both punt and kickoff returns. He started the 2012 season on the Steelers' practice squad but earned a promotion in November, appeared in three games and caught one pass for seven yards.
At Wisconsin, Gilreath was an accomplished return man as well as a pass-catcher, scoring touchdowns in four different ways. He averaged 22.4 yards on 135 kickoff returns and 9.9 yards on 73 punt runbacks, adding a TD in each category. In his four seasons with the Badgers, Gilreath also caught 67 passes for 1,077 yards and four touchdowns and ran 58 times for 442 yards and four more scores.
Grimm's season came to an end thanks to a hamstring injury first suffered in Oakland in Week Nine that had caused him to miss two of the last three games. Trueblood sustained a shoulder injury in Sunday's game against Atlanta.
Grimm, in his third NFL season after being drafted by the Bucs in the seventh round in 2010, was a valuable contributor on special teams, ranking fourth on the team with four kick-coverage tackles this season. His most extensive experience came during his rookie season, when he started nine games at free safety and contributed 61 tackles and two interceptions. Overall, he has played in 23 games with 12 starts in his three years with the Bucs, recording 77 tackles, two interceptions and 15 special teams stops.
Trueblood began the season as the team's starter at right tackle, a position he had manned for most of the previous six seasons as well. A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, he has played in 101 games for the Buccaneers, with 84 starts, all of them at right tackle. After missing the Bucs' Week Two game at New York with an ankle injury, Trueblood has served as a reserve linemen in eight of the last nine contests.
Grimm and Trueblood are also the ninth and 10th players to land on injured reserve this season for the Buccaneers, including the third and fourth in the last three weeks. Linebacker Quincy Black and wide receiver Arrelious Benn were the other recent additions to I.R.
Baker, who played his college football at Ball State, first came to the Buccaneers in May on a tryout contract to compete in the team's rookie mini-camp. His performance over that weekend earned him a spot on the 80-man offseason roster and he went to training camp with the Buccaneers in July. He played in all four preseason games and contributed four tackles but was waived on the final roster cutdown before the regular-season opener.
Scott joined the Buccaneers' practice squad on October 31.