In preparation for this weekend’s home opener against the Detroit Lions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a couple minor tweaks to their roster and depth chart. In order to shore up their backup tight end slot, the Bucs claimed rookie Zack Pianalto off waivers and released defensive end George Johnson. This move should finalize their 53-man roster, as they have said they won’t be claiming many players off waivers early this season.
After clearing waivers, George Johnson was added yesterday to the Bucs’ practice squad. It’s somewhat surprising that Johnson made it through waivers, considering he had an impressive preseason with three sacks, but he’ll be an excellent player for the Bucs to have in reserve in case of injuries. To make room for Johnson, tight end Daniel Hardy was released.
Also, the Buccaneers have made one switch to their depth chart, inserting receiver Preston Parker as their primary kick and punt returner. Parker is replacing Micheal Spurlock, who was the Bucs’ main returner last season. As Sander from Bucs Nation points out, it’s a somewhat odd move:
The Bucs have been experimenting with different return men throughout preseason, but Spurlock was never given a chance to compete with them. In addition to that, Spurlock looked very good on kick returns last season, although he was less than spectacular on punt returns.
This decision makes Spurlock’s presence on the roster a little curious. He’s a third-string receiver, a third-string returner and a third-string quarterback now. Will he even get a chance to be on the field during the regular season?