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Buccaneers activate CB Ryan Smith, waive OLB Demone Harris

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The fourth-year cornerback’s four-game suspension is up, so Tampa Bay has activated him ahead of Sunday’s game in New Orleans

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers made a roster move on Saturday ahead of their Week 5 road game against the New Orleans Saints, activating cornerback Ryan Smith from the exempt list.

Smith, who was suspended for the first four games of the season due to a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, can play Sunday against the Saints. To make room on the active roster, Tampa Bay waived outside linebacker Demone Harris.

Smith has played 45 games (with 16 starts) in his first three years with the Bucs, spending plenty of time at corner while also being a standout on special teams. Considering the struggles the team’s young secondary has faced in the first quarter of the 2019 season, could the 2016 fourth-round pick could eventually see some time there?

Earlier this week, head coach Bruce Arians talked about Smith’s impending return, but spoke more to his special teams ability than anything else. Whether that’s to be read into or not might depend on who you ask, but having Smith back at least gives the defense another option back there.

Plus, having him as a special teams leader can only help. The unit could use some reinforcements at this point.

Harris, who made the 53-man roster out of training camp, was inactive for three of the team’s first four games.