The Tampa Bay Buccaneers said goodbye to running back Cadillac Williams and left tackle Luke Petitgout for the season by placing them injured reserve with their respective knee injuries on Wednesday, but they also welcomed back one of their players.
Bucs cornerback Torrie Cox returned to the team’s 53-man roster this week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy during the offseason.
After watching Tampa Bay jump out to a 3-1 start, Cox, who originally joined the Bucs in 2003 as a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, is happy to be back with his team and is hoping to help them continue their winning ways.
“It was very tough,” Cox said of serving his suspension. “It was especially tough when you see the guys out there winning and you’re not part of it. But I feel good to be back around the team. I’m ready to do whatever I need to do when they call my name.”
Depending on the health status of cornerback Brian Kelly, who missed last week’s game in Carolina with a groin injury, Cox could see action on defense as early as Sunday. The Bucs currently have five cornerbacks — Cox, Ronde Barber, Kelly, Phillip Buchanon and Sammy Davis – on their active roster.
Cox could also see action on special teams, where he has averaged 22.9 yards per kickoff return on 75 attempts and tied for first in special teams takedowns with 20 en route to being selected as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2006.
“We will see about that. We haven’t seen him obviously on the practice field in a while so we will examine what we see today, tomorrow and the next day and go from there,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Cox.
Not only has he been looking forward to getting back out on the practice field with his teammates, Cox suggested some of the off-the-field issues he’s had before, including DUI arrests he in December of 2004 and September of 2005, respectively, are behind him.
“Things happened before in my past, but that’s something that is going to be in the past,” said Cox. “It happened and it’s over. You just grow as life goes on.”
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