The Buccaneers were clearly unhappy with how the running attack performed during Sunday’s home opener against the New York Jets. So with the status of Erik Lorig apparently still in doubt, the Buccaneers let go of newly acquired defensive tackle Chris Jones to bring back fullback Spencer Larsen, according to an announcement from the team.
Larsen has been a career “bubble” player, perpetually on the cusp of making NFL rosters. With the near extinction of his position in the league, he’s found it impossible to play in a true NFL game for a couple of years since he last played for the Broncos.
The Buccaneers are a vastly better rushing team with a true lead blocker in front of Doug Martin, and it’s clear from this move that Nate Byham and Brian Leonard are no substitute for a true fullback. Martin had most of his biggest runs last season open up thanks to great lead blocks by Erik Lorig, and the hope is that Larsen will do the same for Doug against the New Orleans Saints this weekend.
There were other, more accomplished fullbacks available, but it’s clear that Larsen’s time around the team gives him a level of familiarity to step in and play soon, which is the only reason for the roster move.
Hopefully this move, combined with the continued return to game shape of Davin Joseph, will give the running game the boost it needs to help the Buccaneers move the football more efficiently against the New Orleans Saints.