Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11 players fighting for a roster spot vs. Dolphins
By David Rumsey
Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Kenny Bell (80) stands along the sidelines in the preseason NFL football game with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Wide Receiver: Kenny Bell, Kaelin Clay & Rannell Hall
The Buccaneers are likely only going to keep five WRs, unless they choose to keep more for special teams use, so it will be interesting to see who they choose. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Louis Murphy and Russell Shepard seem to have the top four spots locked down, but after that everything is up for grabs.
Kenny Bell was selected in the 5th round of this year’s draft so you wouldn’t think he would get cut, however he hasn’t showed a lot and now has a hamstring injury likely to hold him out of Thursday’s game.
Kaelin Clay was selected in the 6th round and has seen the most action returning kickoffs and punts. That was RB Bobby Rainey’s job last year but it seems the Bucs have been comfortable letting Clay take a stab at it this preseason.
Rannell Hall went undrafted out of UCF, but has actually had the biggest impact in the receiving game for the Bucs, catching four passes this preseason.
All three players have dabbled in the kickoff/punt return game, but if anyone is going to make the team solely as a return specialist it would be Clay. The Bucs were excited to bring Bell in through the draft and they really like his speed, unfortunately he hasn’t been able to show it off all that much.
Most likely only Clay and Hall will get a last chance to showcase their talents Thursday night. If Clay can make a big splash in the return game and Hall can prove to be a valuable special teams player the Bucs might have to think about keeping those two and cutting ties with Bell.
I don’t think that is very likely, but you never know what teams are thinking. If the Bucs can’t see Bell making an impact on the team they may just move on from him now rather than later.