K Todd France was perfect for the Bucs in the preseason, making all seven of his kicks (three field goals, four PATs)
Tuesday was a day off for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' players, but the roster itself got no rest. The team executed a series of moves to its 53-man roster and eight-man practice squad on Tuesday, including the signing of an insurance policy for kicker Matt Bryant's sore right hamstring.
First, the Buccaneers signed running back Derek Watson to the active roster from the practice squad. To make room for Watson, the team released rookie wide receiver J.R. Russell. Then, kicker Todd France, who was with the Bucs throughout the 2005 offseason and preseason, took Watson's spot on the practice squad. Finally, rookie fullback Rick Razzano was waived from the practice squad.
Obviously, the signing of France was made as a result of Bryant's injury, as Bryant's status for next Sunday's game against the Saints in Baton Rouge has not yet been determined.
France battled with Bryant for the Bucs' placekicking job in August and proceeded to make all four of his field goal tries and all three of his point-after attempts in preseason games. Among France's successful field goals were a 49-yarder against Jacksonville and a 46-yarder at Miami.
France was released by the Buccaneers on September 3 but signed by Philadelphia in October after an injury sidelined kicker David Akers. France handled the Eagles' kicking duties for three games and made six of seven field goal tries, with his only miss coming on a blocked attempt against Kansas City.
A former standout at South Carolina and South Carolina State, Watson first entered the league as an undrafted free agent with New England in 2003. He ran for 121 yards on 37 carries for the Buccaneers during the 2005 preseason.