Buccaneers Make Needed Roster Move Before Saints Showdown

Todd Bowles

Getty Todd Bowles face a plethora of injuries on the Buccaneers roster.

Amid injury concerns at wide receiver, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called up Kalyon Geiger Jr. from the practice squad before a showdown with New Orleans Saints.

Tampa Bay had five receivers listed on injury reports this week, and one of them, Chris Godwin, won’t play for certain on Sunday, September 18. The Bucs also listed the other four receivers as questionable in the final report — Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, and Breshad Perriman.

Evans, Gage, and Perriman will play according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Jones entered the morning “a game time decision” according to FOX’s Sara Walsh. The Bucs eventually confirmed Jones as inactive for the game per Auman. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted that Jones’ injury stemmed from landing on his knee at Dallas.

Geiger may not play a snap at receiver on Sunday but likely will play on special teams, as Auman noted. An undrafted free agent, Geiger impressed at training camp and in the preseason with his playmaking ability.

He tallied six receptions for 54 yards in three preseason games, and he averaged 22.6 yards on kickoff returns. The former Texas Tech standout had 184 receptions, 2,158 yards, and nine touchdowns in his college career.

The Bucs also called up linebacker Kenny Young from the practice squad. Young has experience with 59 regular season games under his belt.

He has 195 tackles, 5.5 sacks, an interception and four forced fumbles in his career. The Bucs signed him to the practice squad after the Las Vegas Raiders released him last month. Young previously played for the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, and Los Angeles Rams.

Bucs Make Final Calls on Leonard Fournette, Donovan Smith

Bucs running back Leonard Fournette dealt with a hamstring injury during the week but will play against the Saints per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Fournette stepped up for the Bucs in the season opener at Dallas with 127 yards rushing on 21 carries. He remained questionable for the Saints game on the final injury report.

Fournette will have a little less experienced run protection up front on Sunday as tackle Donovan Smith will sit out, per Walsh, due to a hyperextended elbow. Smith injured it against the Cowboys and remained questionable on the injury report.

Josh Wells stepped in for Smith against the Cowboys, and he will fill that role again on Sunday.

Bucs Make Kyle Rudolph Inactive Again

Despite tight end Kyle Rudolph’s red zone pass-catching ability and past success against the Saints, the Bucs will sit him on Sunday.

The Bucs’ inactive list for Sunday also includes running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, quarterback Kyle Trask, and cornerback Zyon McCollum per Auman. Jones and Godwin are also listed as inactive due to injury.

Tampa Bay will go with six receivers and three tight ends on Sunday, Auman noted. Tight ends include the rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft, who “played well in blocking roles last week” per Auman. Cameron Brate will start at tight again.

Auman noted that it “speaks volumes” that Rudolph is inactive, considering the rookies, including Geiger, suiting up instead. The Bucs signed Rudolph in July to help alleviate the retirement of star tight end Rob Gronkowski.

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