The Buccaneers announced Thursday morning that they have placed wide receiver Arrelious Benn on injured reserve due to a knee injury and have signed wide receiver David Douglas to the 53-man roster.
Benn was selected by the Bucs in the second round of the 2010 draft and has played in 37 games with 24 starts, recording 59 receptions for 862 yards and five touchdowns.
The former Illini star has struggled with injuries this year, beginning in training camp when a collision with cornerback E.J. Biggers on the first day sidelined Benn with a knee sprain for a month. When he returned, Benn was primarily used as a kick returner this season, totaling 13 returns for 247 yards. The third-year receiver also had three carries for 16 yards in eight games.
Recently, Benn has been hampered with a shoulder injury that found the wideout inactive against the Chargers two weeks ago and held him out of practice Wednesday. Benn is thought to have been placed on IR due to a knee injury, not the shoulder injury he has been dealing with as of late. There has not been confirmation if it is the same knee that Benn injured in training camp.
Douglas was signed by Tampa Bay off the Giants' practice squad, after entering the league in 2012 as an undrafted free agent with the Giants. He appeared in three preseason games this year, recording one reception for 23 yards.
A product out of the University of Arizona, Douglas played in 49 games with 23 starts for the Wildcats, catching 151 passes for 1,542 yards and 11 touchdowns. He finished his senior season in 2011 with career-high totals of 65 receptions for 666 yards and four touchdowns.
It is unlikey that Douglas will take over return duties for Benn, having only one return in his four-year career at Arizona, as a freshman in 2008 for 10 yards.
Against San Diego, cornerback LeQuan Lewis fielded one kick return for 10 yards, and he had another return of 33 yards against Carolina. The Bucs could also look to punt returner Roscoe Parrish, wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, or rookie running back Michael Smith against Atlanta on Sunday.
Smith, a seventh-round pick in April's draft out of Utah State has been inactive in all 10 regular season games due to the team having four running backs on its roster, but was the primary kick returner in the preseason.