Shortly after Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen held a conference call to inform the media that the Bucs will place quarterback Chris Simms on injured reserve on Wednesday, PewterReport.com learned that the Bucs were busy making other roster moves.
PewterReport.com is reporting that the Bucs have running back Lionel Gates to their eight-man practice squad.
The 6-foot, 233-pound Gates spent part of the 2006 season on Tampa Bay's practice squad and spent the 2007 offseason, training camp and preseason with the Bucs. He rushed 15 times for 48 yards (3.2 avg.) and caught two passes for 13 yards, including a touchdown, during the '07 preseason.
The Bucs released Gates, a former Louisville standout, just before the start of the regular season on Sept. 2.
The addition of Gates gives the Bucs two running backs — Gates and Dontrell Moore — on their practice squad.
With Cadillac Williams (knee) out of the season and Michael Pittman (ankle) sidelined 6-8 weeks with their respective injuries, the Bucs are expected to fill the roster spot created Simms' IR status by signing or trading for a running back on Wednesday.
The Bucs have been working out running backs at One Buccaneer Place and working the phones in an effort to possibly trade for a running back. Tampa Bay has two healthy running backs – Earnest Graham and Kenneth Darby – on its active roster, and neither player has ever started a game in the NFL.
Tampa Bay worked out several running backs last week, including Eric Shelton, David Wimbush, Zach Crockett and Patrick Pass. According to Rotoworld.com, the Bucs worked out free agent running backs Ciatrick Fason, Kevan Barlow, Shaud Williams and Tony Fisher on Monday.
The team has also been rumored to be interested in trading for Minnesota RB Mewelde Moore, Detroit RB Tatum Bell or San Diego RB Michael Turner, although general manager Bruce Allen suggested on Tuesday that a trade was unlikely.
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