Still beat up on the offensive and defensive lines, the Tampa Bay Bucs announced a pair of promotions from the practice squad Saturday afternoon.
Center Ben Gottschalk and defensive end Ryan Russell now find themselves on the active roster, while rookie running back Russell Hansbrough was waived to make room.
Gottschalk (6 foot 5, 293 pounds) was signed to Tampa Bay’s practice squad in 2015 and spent the final six weeks of the season with the Buccaneers.
Russell (6 foot 5, 275 pounds) was signed to Tampa Bay’s practice squad on Sept. 21. He entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 and appeared in one regular season game last year.
Hansbrough came to the Bucs as an undrafted free agent this year and was active for their Week 5 game in Carolina. He became expendable with Doug Martin’s hamstring improving to the point where he’s expected to play Sunday against Chicago.
Tampa Bay’s suddenly thin along the offensive line now that left guard Kevin Pamphile is out with a concussion and center Joe Hawley is unlikely to play.
Injuries have hammered the defensive line through eight games. The latest blow came last Thursday night when defensive end Howard Jones was lost for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.