The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have now redefined half of their receiving crew in one interesting week.
The latest maneuvers came on Friday and were prompted by the unfortunate news that Sammie Stroughter is headed to injured reserve due to a foot injury. The resulting vacancy was immediately filled by rookie wide receiver Chris Owusu, who was signed to Tampa Bay's active roster from the San Diego Chargers' practice squad.
Players who are working with one team on a practice squad remain free agents in the sense that they can sign with any other team in the league at any time as long as the new team is putting them on the active roster. They must then remain on the active roster of the new team for at least three weeks.
The Owusu signing is the third addition to the team's six-man receiving corps this week. On Monday, the Buccaneers re-signed Jordan Shipley and released guard Derek Hardman. On Thursday, the Bucs brought Tiquan Underwood back and released wide receiver Preston Parker. Both Shipley and Underwood were with the Buccaneers during the preseason.
The Bucs, who started the week with a five-man receiving corps, are now carrying six, with Shipley, Underwood and Owusu joining starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams and key reserve Arrelious Benn. Last Sunday, Benn played in his first game since 2011 after returning from a training camp knee injury.
The 6-2, 200-pound Owusu came into the league this spring as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford, where he was a standout in the receiving game and as a return man. The 49ers waived Owusu in the final roster cuts before the regular season and he then signed with the Chargers' practice squad. During the 2012 preseason, Owusu contributed five catches for 43 yards for the 49ers.
At Stanford, Owusu caught 102 passes for 1,534 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Cardinal, also recording 78 kickoff returns for 2,132 yards (27.3 avg.) and three touchdowns.
Stroughter appeared in the first two games of the 2012 season for the Buccaneers, recording two punt returns for 16 yards (8.0 avg.) and one reception for 14 yards. A seventh-round draft pick (233rd overall) by the Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL Draft, Stroughter has played in 33 career games with four starts, totaling 60 receptions for 639 yards and one touchdown, in addition to 34 kickoff returns for 943 yards (27.7 avg.) and one touchdown, and 15 punt returns for 135 yards (9.0 avg.).