A newcomer and an undrafted rookie may be getting their shots to impress on Sunday.
Tampa Bay made a pair of moves earlier this week in response to a recent spate of injuries affecting the tight end position. On Tuesday the team promoted undrafted rookie Cameron Brate from the practice squad to the active 53-man roster and signed fourth-year pro D.J. Williams.
The Buccaneers have typically gone into each week with three active tight ends: Brandon Myers, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Luke Stocker. All three of those names, however, can also be found on Friday’s injury list. Each is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.
Seferian-Jenkins, the Bucs’ fifth-leading receiver with 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns, practiced through a back injury on a limited basis all week. Myers (calf) and Stocker (concussion) have sat out the entire week of practice.
When asked about the new active-roster additions being ready to go this weekend, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith spoke mostly about Brate.
“Haven’t seen a lot from D.J. Williams, because of course he just got here,” Smith said. “Cameron Brate, we’ve seen a lot from him. There’s a reason why we’ve had him on our practice squad the entire time. He has good hands, smart guy and good speed. He’s young still, but we like a lot of things about him. That’s what you have guys on the practice squad for. Tight end is a position traditionally where it’s just tough to have guys throughout the course of the year. You need guys ready to go.”
Brate (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) is in his first NFL season after spending the past four years playing at Harvard, where he totaled 91 receptions for 1,381 yards and 18 touchdowns during the three seasons he played.
Tampa Bay is Williams’ fourth destinations in as many years after being initially drafted in the fifth round by Green Bay in 2011. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound University of Arkansas product hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since he split last year between Jacksonville and New England. Williams has caught nine professional passes for 70 yards.
Myers has 18 receptions for 169 yards, but he and Stocker have been primarily utilized for their run- and pass-blocking abilities this season. If Brate and Williams get activated on Sunday, their impacts probably won’t be seen next to their names on the stat sheet, either.
We sure haven’t gotten as much from the TE position as I anticipated. I was hoping Myers would be that Dave Moore type who seems to be steady if not spectacular and Sefarian-Jenkins would be that Jimmy Giles type stretching the field. Both are under-utilized weapons. C’mon Arroyo, mix it up a little.
Makes the trading of Wright even a bigger blonder. Plus they’ll get what will be a pick at the very top of the 4th for a washed up guard. Lose the Pat’s phone number unless you like getting fleeced.
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