With two preseason games down and two more to go, Tampa Bay saw fit to make a few roster moves on Monday, attempting to shore up its pass defense and perhaps give a jolt to an offense that looked anemic in last Friday’s loss to Tennessee.
On the offensive side, the Buccaneers claimed receiver Jordan Shipley off waivers. Shipley was let go by the Cincinnati Bengals, and bringing him to Tampa is “a low-cost, low-risk” move, writes Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. Shipley had a strong rookie season in 2010 as the third option in Cincinnati behind Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, but a torn ACL in Week 2 last year derailed his progress.
The injury took a long time to recover from -- Shipley was just finally cleared to practice again at the start of training camp -- and it’s not clear if the Texas alum is truly back in playing shape. But according to Holder, if Shipley doesn’t make the Bucs’ 53-man roster, the organization “would have few, if any, financial consequences” from bringing Shipley in at this point.
On defense, the team waived undrafted rookie cornerback Desmond Marrow and signed former Detroit Lions corner Brandon McDonald. Holder notes that with two cornerbacks currently injured -- Anthony Gaitor (hamstring strain) and E.J. Biggers (broken foot) -- McDonald could have an impact in Tampa.
McDonald played 13 games in Detroit last season and had five interceptions as a Cleveland Brown in 2008.
- OL Penn back in action: Left tackle Donald Penn was back at practice Monday and had plenty of energy coming off a calf strain that held him out of training camp, writes Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. Coach Greg Schiano and company are hoping that energy lasts through an entire season, as Schiano and his staff were slow in bringing Penn back to ensure he was at a weight and conditioning level the Bucs felt he could be effective at, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Penn has incentives in his contract that tie bonus payments to him staying under 330 pounds, and while he did not get into exact numbers, Schiano said this is “the best I’ve seen him look, by far."
- Tough decisions to make as cuts loom: One position where making cuts may prove difficult for Tampa Bay is safety, where at least four players are seriously vying to make the 53-man roster as backups behind Ronde Barber and Mark Barron, according to Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. Ahmad Black had one of the few highlights of last week’s 30-7 loss to the Titans, intercepting Jake Locker and setting up the team’s only touchdown with a long return. Cody Grimm has been hampered by injury, but is one of the few players in the Bucs’ secondary with experience. Larry Asante seems to be solidly in the two-deep roster and also is a special teams contributor. The team’s front office, according to Holder, thinks a lot of sixth-round draft pick Keith Tandy, who played cornerback in college at West Virginia. Could the team decide to keep more than four safeties, leaving other positions short-handed?
For more from Tampa Bay Bucs blogger Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsNFLTB on Twitter.