The 21-day wait and four-month delay is over.
Four months after sustaining a left pectoral tear in a weight-lifting accident, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated guard Matt O’Dwyer from the Reserve – physically unable to perform list on Tuesday.
O’Dwyer, who signed a one-year contract with the Bucs in March after spending the previous five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, was placed on the Active PUP list on July 30 and was transferred to the Reserve PUP list prior to the start of the regular season. He missed all of training camp and preseason, and watched the first 11 regular season games from the sideline.
After Tampa Bay’s sixth game, the Bucs had 21 days to make a decision on O’Dwyer, who was projected to start at left guard before suffering the pec injury over the summer. O’Dwyer, who was cleared to practice in early November, could still start there as soon as Sunday when 4-7 Tampa Bay hosts 9-2 Atlanta.
Bucs center Sean Mahan is questionable with a neck stinger, and the team’s backup center is Matt Stinchcomb, who started the first 11 seasons at left guard. Should Stinchcomb need to start in place of Mahan, O’Dwyer could start at left guard on Sunday.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound O’Dwyer has been a starter throughout most of his 10-year career since originally entering the NFL with the New York Jets as a 1995 second-round draft pick out of Northwestern.
To make room for O’Dwyer on their 53-man roster, the Bucs released wide receiver Bill Schroeder, who was inactive for the past four games and caught seven passes for 156 yards and one touchdown in seven games (one start) this season.
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