The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially placed defensive tackle Anthony McFarland on injured reserve Wednesday. McFarland, who suffered a torn triceps in the game against Kansas City on Nov. 7 and was inactive for Tampa Bay’s past two games, becomes the third defensive tackle to be placed on IR by the Bucs this season.
The Bucs are expected to continue to use Chidi Ahanotu, who re-signed with the team two weeks ago, and second-year DL Dewayne White, to help fill the void left by McFarland, who totaled 28 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery before his season came to an end.
Tampa Bay now has three running backs — Smart, Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham, who was also recently promoted from the practice squad — on its active roster. Bucs head coach Jon Gruden suggested Smart could see action as early as this Sunday when Tampa Bay visits Carolina to take on the Panthers.
“We like him,” Gruden said of Smart. “He’s very quick, thick and quick. He’s a good kid, he knows our stuff. He’s got a chance. We’re going to try to work him and there is a chance he could be up helping us out this week.”
The Bucs filled the active roster spot left vacant by McFarland by promoting running back Ian Smart from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
The 5-foot-8, 192-pound Smart signed on to Tampa Bay’s practice squad on Sept. 22 after being waived by the New York Jets, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003.
Smart played collegiately at C.W. Post. In four years there, Smart rushed for 6,647 yards and scored an NCAA-high 95 touchdowns. In his senior season, Smart produced 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns.
The Bucs filled Smart’s spot on the practice squad by signing defensive tackle Keith Wright.
Wright (6-2, 275) originally entered the NFL out of Missouri as a sixth-round draft pick with Houston, where he spent time on the Texans’ active roster and practice squad. Wright has also spent time on the Indianapolis Colts’ taxi squad.
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