WR Mark Jones ranked fourth in the NFC in punt return average in 2005 with a mark of 9.6 yards per return
One day after bringing cornerback Sammy Davis back into the fold, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also recalled wide receiver Mark Jones. In both cases, the move was prompted by an injury concern.
Jones takes the spot on the Bucs' 53-man roster that opened on Wednesday when the team reached an injury settlement with David Boston and released the eighth-year receiver. Davis had replaced second-year cornerback Anthony Madison as a result of the groin injury that has made cornerback Brian Kelly a concern for this weekend's game.
In addition to taking Boston's spot on the Bucs' five-man receiving corps, Jones could also help the team's return game. While Earnest Graham and Ike Hilliard remain the team's first option on the depth chart for kickoff and punt returns, respectively, Jones is another option for both jobs.
Last year, Jones returned 20 punts for the Buccaneers during two stints on the active roster, averaging 7.8 yards per runback. He had his best season in 2005, handling the Bucs punt-return chores all year and ranking fourth in the NFC with an average of 9.6 yards per return. Though he was a seventh-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2004, Jones spent his rookie season with the New York Giants, averaging 6.7 yards on 34 punt returns. During his three seasons in the league, the 5-9, 185-pound Jones has also averaged 20.1 yards on eight kickoff returns.
Boston made the Buccaneers' 53-man roster out of training camp but did not appear in a game before his release on Wednesday. Prior to Tampa Bay's season opener in Seattle last Sunday, Boston suffered a foot injury in pregame warm-ups and was held out of the game.