The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost wide receiver Cecil Shorts to a knee injury but found an immediate replacement on their practice squad in third-year wideout Josh Huff.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers placed Shorts on injured reserve and signed Huff to the resulting open spot on their 53-man roster. The team also kept its overall wideout totals and its 10-man practice squad intact by bringing back Bernard Reedy, who went to training camp with the Buccaneers this past summer.
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Huff's promotion comes roughly a month after the Buccaneers signed him to the practice squad following his waiver by the Philadelphia Eagles. He will likely make his Tampa Bay debut this Sunday against New Orleans as the teams' receiving corps took a couple of hits in last weekend's win over the San Diego Chargers. In addition to the injury suffered by Huff in the first quarter, wide receiver Adam Humphries left the game in the second quarter after taking a blow to the head and is now in the league's concussion protocol. Humphries is the Bucs' third-leading pass-catcher this season and Shorts had contributed 10 of his 11 catches in the previous five games.
A third-round pick out of Oregon in 2014, Huff played in 34 games and made six starts with the Eagles, compiling 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns. Last year, he caught 27 passes for 312 yards and three scores and led all Eagles receivers with an average of 6.7 yards gained after the catch.
Huff could also be an option for the Buccaneers in the return game, where he was a strong performer for the Eagles on kickoffs. Over his three seasons in Philly, he averaged 27.7 yards per return and scored on runbacks of 107 and 98 yards. His 107-yard kickoff return TD in his 2014 rookie season is the longest score of any kind in Eagles franchise history.
Though Huff did not return punts during his time in Philadelphia, he might be considered for that job as well in Tampa, depending upon Humphries' availability. Humphries and Shorts were the top two punt returners on the Bucs' depth chart heading into Week 13; rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves took over that role in the second half of Sunday's game in San Diego.
Reedy played in all four preseason games, contributing six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged 13.2 yards on six punt returns and 20.3 yards on three kickoff returns. He also spent his entire 2014 season on the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad, working in an offense directed by current Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter.