Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Presented by

J.J. Russell Promoted to Active Roster Among Round of Moves

The Bucs signed LB J.J. Russell to their 53-man roster on Wednesday, waived TE David Wells and made a number of other changes to the practice squad


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed linebacker J.J. Russell to their active roster from their practice squad, filling a spot created by the waiver of tight end David Wells.

Russell's promotion plus the release of cornerback Don Gardner and safety Jaquan Johnson created three openings on the practice squad. Those were filled by a trio of newcomers: linebacker Vi Jones, cornerback Quandre Mosely and wide receiver Raleigh Webb. The Bucs may be seeking reinforcements at several positions after Lavonte David, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Tristan Wirfs all suffered injuries in the Week 11 loss at San Francisco.

Russell, who played his college ball at Memphis, has been with the Buccaneers since signing as an undrafted free agent in May of 2022. He bounced between the practice squad and the active roster as a rookie and also had three game day elevations while on the practice squad, which allowed him to appear in a total of eight games. He contributed four tackles on defense and two on special teams.

Jones (6-3, 233) most recently went to training camp with the Seattle Seahawks this summer before being waived with an injury settlement. An undrafted rookie in 2022 out of North Carolina State, he spent most of the season on Seattle's practice squad but appeared in three games, playing on special teams.

Mosely (6-1, 197) is back for a second stint with the Buccaneers after spending six weeks on the team's practice squad last season. He originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 but then ended up on Seattle's practice squad at the start of the season. After his time with the Bucs and Seahawks he landed in New England and got into one game after being elevated from the practice squad. He went to training camp with the Patriots this summer but was waived during the final cuts.

Like the others, Webb (6-2, 208) came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2022 after playing at The Citadel. He signed first with the Baltimore Ravens and started the season on their practice squad but was eventually signed off that crew to the active roster in New England. He played two games for the Ravens after game day elevations, then 10 more for the Patriots. Webb went back to training camp with the Ravens in 2023 but was waived in late August.

Wells originally joined the team in September of 2022 and had two stints on the practice squad totaling 14 weeks. He then made the active roster to start this season after a strong showing in training camp. Wells was active for the first four games and saw 39 snaps on offense, but he has been inactive for the past six contests as the Bucs have instead gone with rookie Payne Durham as their third tight end. Wells finished with an unusual stat line of two catches for -10 yards, the result of a fumble on the second one that went backwards before the Bucs recovered it. He also played three games with one start for Arizona in 2021.

Both Gardner and Johnson were recent additions to the practice squad; the Buccaneers signed the former on November 8 and the latter on November 15. Gardner had also spent the entire 2022 season on Tampa Bay's practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent. He was elevated from the practice squad for one game, playing on special teams against Baltimore. Gardner went back to camp with the Buccaneers this summer but was waived/injured during the final roster cuts.

Johnson, a sixth-round pick by the Bills in 2019, played in 60 games over four seasons in Buffalo, recording a pair of interceptions. He went to training camp with the Bills this year but was released during the roster cut-down to 53.

Related Content

Latest Headlines