The Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed their depth at the safety and offensive tackle positions on Monday with a round of roster moves that includes the placement of third-year safety Justin Evans on injured reserve.
The Buccaneers re-signed Andrew Adams, who played for them last season, to fill Evans' spot on the safety depth chart. At tackle, the team signed Josh Wells, who spent the last five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and waived Caleb Benenoch.
Evans, the Buccaneers' second-round draft pick in 2017, has essentially been unable to return to the field since suffering a turf-toe injury last November. He did return after missing two games but then reaggravated the injury and was placed on injured reserve. He missed the offseason program this spring and had another procedure on his foot in June, leading to him starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He was activated from that list right at the end of the preseason but then sustained an Achilles tendon injury. It is possible he could return to action this season if the Buccaneers use one of their two designated-to-return options on him later in the year.
Adams is a September signing by the Buccaneers for the second year in a row. After playing two seasons for the New York Giants he came to Tampa last September 26 after the Bucs had experienced several injuries at the safety position. He played in the last 13 games and was in a starting position by the end of the season, leading the team with four interceptions. Adams even carved out a place in franchise history when he intercepted Carolina's Cam Newton three times in a Week 13 victory over the Panthers. Adams joined Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib as the only players in franchise history to have a three-pick game.
Adams (5-11, 197) signed with the Detroit Lions in March but was waived in the final cuts. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Connecticut in 2016.
Wells (6-6, 305) also came into the league as an undrafted free agent, out of James Madison in 2014, and he won a roster spot with the Jaguars as a rookie. He has played in 39 regular season games and over the last two years he started nine games for the Jaguars. Wells lost his 2015 season to injured reserve, and he also landed on I.R. in 2016 and 2018 but was later activated after being designated to return.
The Buccaneers have completely reworked their offensive tackle depth since the rosters were trimmed to 53 players on August 31. The first move was a trade with Pittsburgh to acquire Jerald Hawkins on the same day of the final roster cuts. Hawkins and Wells now stand as the backups to Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson.
Benenoch had been active for the season opener against San Francisco as the third tackle. A fifth-round pick in 2016, he played in 35 games with 22 starts over the past four seasons in Tampa. Benenoch got his first real exposure when he opened the last five games of 2017 at right tackle in place of an injured Dotson. Last year, Benenoch won the right guard position and started all 16 games but often struggled. The Buccaneers moved him back to tackle this season, with Alex Cappa stepping in at right guard.