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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Release Frank Okam, Cite Injury To Michael Bennett As Rationale

In a somewhat baffling roster move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided on Tuesday to release defensive tackle Frank Okam from their active roster. To fill his open slot, the Buccaneers then signed defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim off the Eagles' practice squad.

This move was rather surprising. Okam was a highly regarded tackle that had just recovered from an injury, and the Bucs are weak at the tackle position. However, the Bucs did have a reason for this switch:

But we've since learned that today's roster moves were impacted by an undisclosed injury to starting left defensive Michael Bennett, who the team fears might miss time in the coming weeks. Bennett had been coping with a groin injury last week and, in accordance with league rules, was listed on the injury report. Still, he managed to be in the starting lineup against Green Bay. It's not clear whether this latest injury concern is related to the groin injury or a new injury. (Stephen Holder, St. Petersburg Times)

Te'o-Nesheim does have some upside -- he was a third round pick in 2010 -- so the Buccaneers must be hoping he can fill in for Bennett if he needs to miss significant time. Even if Bennett doesn't miss much time, he could also see some time on the field with the Bucs' special teams.

For more on how this roster move affects the Buccaneers, check out the coverage at SB Nation's blog on the Buccaneers, Bucs Nation.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.