LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 01: Wide receiver Ed Gant #15 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half of a preseason game at FedExField on September 1, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
According to Roy Cummings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed QB Rudy Carpenter, WR Ed Gant, TE Daniel Hardy and S Ahmad Black to the practice squad. The first three players had shown promise in the preseason, while Ahmad Black never really got a chance to play because of a high ankle sprain.
Carpenter was demoted to a practice squad role essentially because of a change to the NFL's 3rd quarterback rule. The Bucs opted to keep an extra utility player, instead of letting Carpenter take up a valuable active roster spot on gamedays.
Ed Gant had supposedly had a terrific training camp, but didn't really show up until the fourth game of preseason. On a highlight reel play, Gant caught a slant that was thrown behind him, broke two tackles and raced 96 yards for a touchdown.
Daniel Hardy had a few ugly drops in preseason, but also showed some skills as a receiving tight end. Unfortunately, his lack of blocking prowess cost him a roster spot. Don't be surprised if the Bucs bring him back up to the regular season roster somewhat quickly. It's clear the Bucs need more tight ends, but they seem to be struggling to find any.
Ahmad Black was an offseason darling of fans. The fifth-round rookie was perfect for an underdog story: slow and undersized, but instinctive and always around the ball. The fact that he played for Florida and grew up a Bucs fan doesn't hurt either. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain essentially ruined any chance he had of making the roster. Now he'll have to prove himself on the practice squad, and hope a roster spot opens up.