The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived running back Mike James with an injury designation, according to Pro Football Talk. James will land on the team’s injured reserve list if he passes through waivers.
This move came out of nowhere, but presumably James suffered an injury at some point in practice this week, or never recovered from the injury that kept him out for the last couple of weeks of preseason. James won the third running back job despite that injury, though, with undrafted rookies Russell Hansbrough and Peyton Barber landing on the Bucs’ practice squad.
Given that both of those players are on the practice squad, they could easily be called up. Barber is the most likely candidate if that happens, given that he was clearly ahead of Hansbrough during the preseason. But the team could also sign running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who they worked out this week.
Rodgers would be a good change-of-pace and receiving back, but he’d also shore up the Bucs’ kickoff return game, as the Bucs don’t have a clear kickoff returner yet. Rodgers played under Dirk Koetter for three seasons in Atlanta, and he was the team’s primary kickoff returner for two of those years.
Rodgers was primarily a change of pace back under Koetter, rushing for 911 yards on 248 carries and adding 916 receiving yards on 134 catches. He’d have to somehow take touches away from Charles Sims here, though, and that seems a little unlikely.