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Shipley Sails Back into Town

WR Jordan Shipley is back with the Buccaneers after re-signing on Tuesday during a round of roster moves that also included the release of G Derek Hardman and a switch on the practice squad


Jordan Shipley had just 11 days and two preseason games to stake his claim to a roster spot after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed him off waivers on August 20.  When the Buccaneers trimmed their roster to 53 for the regular season on August 31, Shipley wasn't among those retained.

However, the third-year receiver obviously piqued Tampa Bay's interest.  On Tuesday, the Bucs re-signed Shipley, adding a sixth man to their receiving squad.  To make room on the active roster, the team released guard/tackle Derek Hardman.

Tampa Bay also tweaked its practice squad on Tuesday, bringing in defensive end D.J. Bryant releasing linebacker J.K. Schaffer.

The 6-0, 188-pound Shipley is returning from a knee injury that cost him most of the 2011 season but didn't keep him from running full-speed in the two preseason games he suited up for with the Buccaneers (he caught two passes for 12 yards and also got a look on punt return).  Before that injury, Shipley had turned in a marvelous rookie campaign for the Bengals, playing primarily in the slot.  His 2010 totals included 52 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns.

At Texas, Shipley finished his career as the Longhorns' all-time leader in receptions, with 248, and his receiving yardage (3,191) and touchdown (33) totals rank second in school history. Forming a prolific combination with current Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, Shipley was named an All-American twice and in 2009 was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate receiver.

Hardman had most recently re-signed with the Buccaneers last Friday, though he was declared inactive for the team's contest against the New York Giants on Sunday.  Hardman was on the Bucs' active roster for most of the 2010-11 seasons, appearing in 12 games with four starts.

Bryant (6-3, 240) entered the NFL this spring as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans out of James Madison University.  He was an all-conference selection as a senior after recording 43 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for the Dukes.

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