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Bucs Promote John Wolford to Active Roster

The Bucs have signed QB John Wolford off their practice squad to their active roster, releasing DL Patrick O'Connor to make room for the move


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will carry three quarterbacks on the active roster after signing fourth-year veteran John Wolford off of their practice squad on Tuesday. To make room for Wolford on the 53-man roster, the Buccaneers also released defensive lineman Patrick O'Connor.

Wolford spent the first eight weeks of the season on the Bucs' practice squad after signing with the team on May 9. He played in seven games with the Los Angeles Rams from 2020-22, including four starts, plus an additional start in the playoffs. He adds to a Buccaneers depth chart that includes starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and former second-round pick Kyle Trask.

The addition of Wolford will give the Buccaneers the ability to make use of the NFL's new "inactive third quarterback rule." A third quarterback can now be included among however many inactive players a team has to add on game day and still be eligible to play if the team's first two quarterbacks exit the game due to injury or ejection.

A Wake Forest product, Wolford originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets in 2018. He was briefly on the Jets' practice squad as a rookie but was waived in September and then eventually signed by the Rams the following spring. After one year on the practice squad in Los Angeles, Wolford made the active roster in 2020.

Wolford made one start for the Rams in 2020 plus the postseason contest, then three more last season, and he has a 3-2 record in those five outings. He has thrown 104 passes in the regular season, completing 61 of them for 626 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. He has also run 16 times for 87 yards.

O'Connor started the 2023 season on Tampa Bay's practice squad but was promoted to the active roster in Week Three. He has seen action in two games this season but was inactive for the past three. A seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2017, he first joined the Buccaneers during his 2017 rookie season and has played in 60 games over six seasons on the active roster.

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