Buccaneers promote two popular practice squad players for Week 2 vs. Bears

Two guys who deserve some playing time are going to get it in Week 2.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

It's been a glorious start to the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but not everything is going perfectly. While the Bucs are 1-0 and looking at a very winnable matchup for their home opener, injuries are starting to peck away at the team's depth.

Two rookies have already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, as Calijah Kancey and SirVocea Dennis will both be inactive. The Bucs are also without starting cornerback Carlton Davis III, who is dealing with turf toe and will be replaced by Zyon McCollum.

Losing Davis is a huge blow, as the Bucs are already pretty shallow at cornerback. McCollum looked like to be on the roster bubble during training camp but ended up making the team and now has a chance to make everyone proud of that decision.

One area the Bucs aren't shallow is at linebacker, which is why losing Dennis meant calling up a guy many thought was going to make the final cut before Week 1.

Buccaneers promote J.J. Russell, Pat O'Connor for Week 2

With Kancey and Dennis out, both J.J. Russell and Pat O'Connor are being elevated from the practice squad.

Russell had an absolutely stellar training camp, playing so well that he was named to PFF's All-Preseason Team. That's why it was a bit of a surprise to see he didn't make the final roster, but that was more a symptom of how deep the linebacker group is than a reflection of Russell's performance.

Once again circumstance has played a role in his journey with the Bucs.

Connor was also a surprise cut this offseason, especially since he's one of the longest-tenured members of the team. His ability to play special teams and make a difference there has been one of the reasons he's stuck around so long, but he'll likely get some meaningful reps at defensive end with Kancey out this week.

Last week Kancey was able to start despite missing all of the preseason but didn't last long after re-aggrevating his calf. Dennis was added to the injury report in the middle of the week with a hamstring injury.

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