With running back Doug Martin out for an unknown time due to a shoulder injury (reported as a torn labrum) the Buccaneers wasted no time in looking for running back depth and signed former Western Kentucky star Bobby Rainey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.
Rainey (5-8, 212), entered the league as a college free agent with Baltimore in 2012, spending the first six weeks of the season on its practice squad. He was then promoted to their active roster. Rainey spent the 2013 preseason with Baltimore before being released and claimed by Cleveland. While with the Browns, Rainey played in all six games, totaling 13 carries for 34 yards and four catches for 19 yards. He also returned six kicks for 147 yards.
A native of Griffin, Ga., Rainey played collegiately at Western Kentucky, where he played in 44 career games, recording 895 carries for 4,542 yards (4.6 avg.) and 35 touchdowns. Additionally, he caught 80 passes for 682 yards and five touchdowns and returned 63 kickoffs for 1,631 yards. Rainey’s 6,906 career all-purpose yards ranks 11th in NCAA history. He earned back-to-back Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year awards in his final two seasons, while also being named to five different All-American teams.
To make room for Rainey Tampa Bay waived wide receiver Skye Dawson.
Head coach Greg Schiano told the media on Monday that despite some reports, Martin’s injury may be not be season ending.
“Doug has his shoulder,” Schiano said. “He had some tests on it, and it will probably be a stretch Thursday, although we will have to see. I wouldn’t go any further than that right now. Goldston is day to day.”
For now the Bucs will turn to rookie Mike James a sixth-round selection out of Miami.
“I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Mike in the last few weeks,” Schiano said. “Both in practice and then game, He’s gotten a few more touches each game, and obviously this one by necessity. I think Mike has really improved as a running back from the beginning stages of training camp, and made some improvements steadily, and when he’s had his opportunities, he’s done good things. On of the last three games he had a nice run that was called back by a penalty. He’s done some good things, and I think he understand our running game. He sees what the vision is, and he tries to execute the play, I think his natural abilities take over. He’s got really good one cut ability as far as when things flash in front of his face in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage. He’s got some quick feet, and can make that first guy miss. He keeps you out of negative plays, and he seems to fall forward which is an important thing.”
Tampa Bay will host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night in a nationally-televised contest on the NFL Network.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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