Rookie TE Mike Roberg spent the first 12 weeks of the season on the Bucs' practice squad but was finally promoted to the active roster on Tuesday
The only player who had spent the entire season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad, a unit in constant flux over the past two months, is now off it.
And that's actually good news for Mike Roberg.
Roberg, the rookie tight end picked up off waivers from Carolina just before the season, left the Bucs' practice squad on Tuesday in order to make himself available for the active roster. Tampa Bay then added him to their 53-man squad and waived first-year cornerback Corey Ivy.
Roberg originally entered the league this past April as a seventh-round draft pick by the Panthers out of the University of Idaho. He was released on Carolina's cut-down to 60 players in late August and claimed by the Buccaneers a day later. However, he was then released by Tampa Bay as they reduced to 53 on September 2, and was added to the practice squad the next day. Over the next three months, the Bucs made 18 roster moves involving practice squad players but Roberg remained on the unit throughout.
That he was finally promoted to the active roster on Tuesday would seem to be an indication that starting tight end Dave Moore's hip injury was more serious than originally hoped. In fact, the opposite is true.
Moore's Monday-afternoon MRI examination backed up an earlier determination by X-ray that there is no structural or muscular damage in his right hip, which took a shot from a Bengals helmet on Sunday. Moore even has a reasonable shot to practice on Wednesday, meaning his streaks of 114 consecutive games played and 60 consecutive starts will probably continue.
Still, Roberg will deepen the team's tight end unit, which has played most of the season with just Moore and second-year man Todd Yoder, though long-snapper Sean McDermott also can man the position. Roberg will instantly become the biggest tight end on the roster – he stands 6-4 and weighs 263 pounds.
Despite that size, Roberg actually left Idaho known more for his receiving than his blocking. A first-team all-conference player as a senior, he caught 64 passes for 772 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter for the Vandals. Roberg was originally recruited to Idaho to play defensive line but switched to the offensive side of the ball as a sophomore.
UPDATE: Ivy cleared waivers, thus becoming eligible to re-sign with the Bucs' practice squad, which he did late Tuesday afternoon. Ivy spent four weeks on the Bucs' active roster and played in one game after being promoted from the practice squad on November 10. With cornerback Donnie Abraham out due to a back injury, Ivy played the nickel back position at Detroit on November 11 and pitched in with six tackles. He was declared inactive for the next three games.