The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't wait long to fill the two roster spots created by the team Tuesday when it placed safety Jermaine Phillips (broken thumb) on injured reserve and released S Steve Cargile.
The Bucs signed free agent cornerback Marcus Hamilton and safety Corey Lynch on Wednesday.
This isn't Hamilton's first stint with Tampa Bay. He originally entered the NFL with the Bucs as a seventh-round pick in 2007. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Hamilton spent his rookie year on Tampa Bay's practice squad. During his second season, Hamilton was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster for Tampa Bay's 27-24 overtime win over Chicago.
However, when the Bucs attempted to sneak Hamilton back on their practice squad, the Bears blocked the move by signing him to their active roster. The former Virginia standout spent training camp with the Bears before being released just before the start of the 2009 regular season.
Lynch (6-0, 206) originally entered the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals as a sixth-round pick in 2008. The former Appalachian State star spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve, and was released by the Bengals in September before being re-signed to the team's practice squad. Lynch had 24 career interceptions and a key field goal block in Appalachian State's upset win over Michigan in 2007.
According to Bucs defensive coordinator Jim Bates, Lynch could play vs. the Giants on Sunday.
“He’s a bright young man,” said Bates. “He just got our game plan, and his knowledge as far as what we’re trying to do is pretty remarkable. We’ll see how he progresses the rest of the week, but he got off to a pretty good start.”
The Bucs have been dealing with some serious depth issues in their secondary. In addition to placing Phillips on injured reserve and releasing Cargile, Bucs starting S Tanard Jackson still has two games remaining on his four-game suspension due to violation of the league's substance abuse policy, and rookie CB E.J. Biggers (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve last week.