After knee injuries to Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy last Sunday, the Buccaneers promoted wide receiver Adam Humphries to the active roster.
Humphries came on strong during the preseason and earned a spot on the active 53, which he held until Week 4. Despite spending the past three weeks on the practice squad, the Clemson product still prepared like he would for any game and has a higher comfort level in the offense seven weeks into his first season.
“I know how to approach the games, how to study,” Humphries said. “After seven weeks I feel comfortable with how we prepare, so it is a little better than Week 1. But at the same time it’s all about the results and we have to get a win.”
Much of his confidence comes from veteran teammates; his fellow wide receivers in particular. Through it all, Humphries has learned minor details from all three, which he feels has better prepared him to make plays and contribute on offense.
“Vince (Jackson) and Mike (Evans) and (Louis) ‘Murph’, those are guys who have played in the league and gotten it done,” Humphries said. “To play under them and learn from them is great. Those are guys who have performed at the highest level and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”
Later in the afternoon, head coach Lovie Smith clarified that the reason for demoting Humphries after Week 4 was based on injuries, not lack of contribution. It’s likely that Tampa Bay felt Donteea Dye was better suited to replace Russell Shepard as the gunner on special teams and therefore made a change at wide receiver. Last Sunday, after Murphy left with an injury in the first quarter, Dye caught his first career pass for a touchdown.
Now with Jackson out, the Bucs will need Humphries to step up in a similar way. The rookie wide reciever isn’t taking the opportunity lightly.
“I have to go out there and play my game,” he said. “It’s a blessing and I’m going to take advantage of it.”