The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have promoted QB Rudy Carpenter to the active roster from the practice squad and waived LB Zac Diles.
The move makes it appear even more likely Josh Freeman will be unable to play Sunday or at the least, be very limited, and that Josh Johnson may get his first start since 2009.
Freeman was injured on the last play of the game at Tennessee last week and has been extremely limited in practice all week, throwing only in Friday’s practice.
Carpenter has spent the first 13 weeks of the 2011 season on the Buccaneers practice squad. He originally joined the Buccaneers in 2009 after being signed off of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad on November 24. He spent the entire 2010 season with Tampa Bay as the third quarterback.
Raheem Morris said Johnson is ready to play if Freeman is unable to go against Carolina.
“Josh Johnson had a really spectacular week of practice,” Morris said. “We talked about the kid being very motivated and going out there and being really prepared. When we have a week like this and he takes all the reps, you really can see how prepared he really is and how much he really wants it.”
Teammates also praised Johnson.
“I feel like Josh [Johnson] is very cerebral,” right tackle Jeremy Trueblood said on Friday. “I think he's athletic, but people think he's just athletic. But he's really smart. A lot smarter than he gets credit for. I tell you what is one of the most impressive things with him is when we're doing our plays and he's five yards behind Josh [Freeman] doing the exact same thing. [Essentially] he has been taking first-team reps the whole time. He shadows what Freeman does.”
Diles has played in seven games this season for the Buccaneers since joining the team on September 5, 2011.