The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their bye week started following their second-straight loss, with the last one coming in London against the Carolina Panthers. While players are vacationing, relaxing, and hopefully healing, the Bucs themselves were hard at work trying to find answers as they prepare to enter Week 8 at 2-4 in just a couple of weeks.
We don’t quite know if they’ve found answers quite yet, but they’ve at least figured out two guys who aren’t going to be a part of the solution moving forward. On Tuesday, the team released wide receiver and punt returner Bobo Wilson, and linebacker Devante Bond.
Bucs are making moves during their bye week, releasing WR Bobo Wilson and OLB Devante Bond. Wilson muffed two punts Tuesday and lost one of the fumbles. No corresponding moves known yet.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 15, 2019
Wilson has been with the Buccaneers for the duration of his three-year NFL career since entering the league as an undrafted free-agent out of Florida State University. He was technically on pace to have a career year with three catches for 35-yards up to this point in the season. His career high so far is four catches for 52-yards which he recorded in 2018.
Of course, it’s not his receiving skills that kept him on the roster, and likely not his lack of receiving stats that got him released. With limited use in the offense, Wilson has found a way to stick in the NFL largely by winning a standing with the franchise as a punt returner.
This all changed after fumbling three punts through six games in 2019. Most recently, this past Sunday, Wilson fumbled back-to-back punts after the Tampa Bay defense forced Carolina to give the ball back to Jameis Winston and company down less than two possessions. Wilson lost the second one, giving the Panthers back the ball with less than ten minutes remaining in the game.
Bond on the other hand has been praised in recent weeks for his better than expected performances through training camp, pre-season and the early part of the regular season.
Coming out of Oklahoma in 2016, Bond was a sixth round draft pick and spent the last four seasons with the team accumulating 39 tackles while active for 29 games in the past three seasons.
The moves could be signaling more to come, or could simply be making room for the return of guys like Jason Pierre-Paul who is returning to light practices during the bye week. Also nearing a potential return is linebacker Jack Cichy who was injured in late September with a projected return between 2-4 weeks.
Tampa Bay’s next game on October 27th would be four weeks to the day since Cichy was injured.