The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a few roster moves on Wednesday, which is the final day of practice prior to the team’s preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Friday night. The Bucs brought back a familiar face in defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the seventh round of the 2017 draft.
Tu’ikolovatu (6-1, 320) was signed due to Vita Vea’s knee injury at practice on Tuesday night. Vea hurt his left knee and had an MRI following practice, but the team wants to due further tests on Friday when the swelling subsides. It’s unclear how much time Vea will miss, and Tu’ikolovatu, who missed the 2018 season due to a triceps injury, is familiar with Todd Bowles’ defense as he spent the offseason in Tampa Bay before being cut earlier in the summer on May 29.
The Bucs also signed safety John Battle (6-0, 201) to replace Orion Stewart, who was released last week with an injury settlement. Tampa Bay is banged up in the secondary with rookies D’Cota Dixon and Mike Edwards, the team’s third-round pick, missing practice time this week. It is unclear whether Dixon or Edwards will be able to play against the Steelers on Friday.
Battle, a Hallandale, Fla. native, recorded 146 tackles and five interceptions, including three last season, in his four-year career at LSU.
To make room for Tu’ikolovatu and Battle, the Bucs placed offensive lineman Michael Liedtke on injured reserve following his shoulder injury, and waived rookie quarterback Vincent Testaverde.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org