On Tuesday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially locked in their 53-man roster. To get there the team had to make 37 roster cuts, most of which were extremely difficult to make and many ended up being pretty surprising.
Just because someone ended up as a roster cut at the end of training camp doesn’t mean their time with the Bucs is over.
With the 53-man roster set, the Bucs will now stitch together their 16-man practice squad. Players who were cut over the last few days are going through waivers, and if they go unclaimed they can be added to the practice squad and remain with the team as the season begins in two weeks.
Practice squad players can’t factor into the action on Sunday unless they’re elevated before then and a corresponding move is made. However, players who were on the roster bubble but have value will be brought back — and the Bucs have more than a few guys who absolutely deserve to have more time with the team.
6 players who should be added to Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad
J.J. Russell, LB
Update: The Bucs announced on Wednesday that J.J. Russell had been added to the practice squad.
One of the most surprsing cuts the Bucs made was J.J. Russell. It always looked like linebacker was going to be a tough position due to the depth of talent and Russell was a victim of that.
Russell was one of the many young that came to camp this year, but that might have been what ultimately held him back. SirVocea Dennis made the final roster despite not playing in a single preseason game due to an injury. The fact that the Bucs spent a fifth round pick on Dennis was likely a tiebreaker when comparing him to Russell, but that's about all that can be held against him.
For most of the preseason, Russell was a standout. He took big strides forward, didn't look like an undrafted rookie, and ultimately played so well that he made PFF's All-Preseason team. There was arguably a spot for him on the final roster so there's absolutely a place for him on the practice squad.