LB Matt McCoy has excelled on special teams during several stints with the Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Matt McCoy four days ago but obviously didn't plan to be without the fifth-year linebacker for long.
On Wednesday, the Bucs announced the re-signing of McCoy, who played in the season's first two contests before being released just before the Week Three game against the New York Giants. McCoy actually started the season opener at weakside linebacker when Geno Hayes was briefly benched for arriving late on game day, but he played primarily on special teams and had two kick-coverage stops.
To make room for McCoy on the 53-man roster, the Buccaneers waived first-year wide receiver Mario Urrutia and re-signed him to the practice squad. That was essentially the reverse of Saturday's moves, when Urrutia took the spot vacated by McCoy. The switch back could be an indication that wide receivers Antonio Bryant and Maurice Stovall are recovering well from their injuries.
Tampa Bay promoted Urrutia before the Giants game to guard against being short at the receiver position. Stovall had been declared doubtful for the game due to a knee injury while Bryant was considered questionable. However, Bryant was able to start the game and remain on the field throughout, and Urrutia did not see any action.
The speedy McCoy will resume his spot as the team's primary reserve at weakside linebacker as well as one of the Bucs' core special teams players. The former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles first joined the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent in March of 2008 and he has since appeared in seven games and made nine kick-coverage stops. McCoy has also played for Philadelphia and New Orleans and has appeared in 37 games with 10 starts. He started 10 games for the Eagles during his second NFL season in 2006, recording 81 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles.
McCoy was also released in the middle of the 2008 season, but he was re-signed four weeks later, finishing the season in Tampa and heading to training camp with the team again this summer.
The 6-6, 232-pound Urrutia was a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 after a fine collegiate career at Louisville in which he averaged 17.5 yards per catch and scored 16 touchdowns among his 130 receptions. He opened the 2009 training camp with the New York Jets but was released during the first week and quickly signed by the Buccaneers. He impressed Tampa Bay's coaching staff quickly and earned a spot on the practice squad after playing in all four preseason games and catching seven passes for 85 yards.