Seven years after he last suited up in red and pewter, offensive lineman Ted Larsen is back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Tuesday, the Buccaneers signed Larsen to their practice squad, filling an opening that was created on Monday with the promotion of running back Kenjon Barner.
Larsen, now in his 11th NFL season, actually entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2010 but saw his first regular-season action later that year with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay claimed Larsen off waivers from the Patriots just before the start of the regular season. He spent four seasons with the Buccaneers (2010-13), appearing in 60 games with 31 starts.
Larsen has a connection with Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers' current coaching staff as his next stop after Tampa was in Arizona, where he signed as an unrestricted free agent. He started all 16 games at left guard for Arians' Cardinals in 2014 then opened 10 contests at right guard the following season. Larsen hit free agency again in 2016 and joined the Bears, for whom he started eight games at right guard. Two years and 21 starts at right guard in Miami followed, after which Larsen returned to Chicago last year and opened two more contests. He became a free agent in March and had not signed with another team until Tuesday.
The 6-3, 323-pound lineman obviously brings extensive starting experience as well as a familiarity with the Bucs' offense, and he has proven versatile throughout his career, seeing action at all three interior-line spots. The Buccaneers lost their reserve interior swingman when veteran A.Q. Shipley was placed on injured reserve in Week 12.
It didn't take Larsen long to get on the field as a rookie after he arrived in Tampa. He replaced Keydrick Vincent at left guard in the sixth game of the 2010 season and stayed in that position for the remainder of the year. After making three starts in 2011, he took over as the starting center early in 2012 and helped pave the way for Doug Martin's 1,454-yard rookie campaign.
A native of Palm Harbor, Florida, Larsen played his college ball at North Carolina State.