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A look at the 2020 Bucs Practice Squad

Calais, Shipley and Hudson among top talent being added to the squad

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
Center A.Q. Shipley was signed by the Bucs to join their practice squad.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The September 5th deadline for NFL team’s to make their 53-man roster cuts has come and gone. I think most of us can acknowledge there was a bit of a shock ‘n awe campaign going on in Tampa heading into this season’s active roster, especially with the surprise late addition of Leonard Fournette.

James Yarcho of Bucs Nation published the initial 53-man roster on BucsNation.com.

This is the Buccaneersinitial 53-man roster. More changes are coming and other signings will take place as those players who have been cut go through waivers before being signed to a practice squad.

There’s always the possibility that the Bucs pick someone up off waivers, leading to a corresponding roster move.

For those of you that don’t know all the nitty gritty details, the practice squad is made up of 16 additional players not on the active roster. These players work closely with the team’s scouts from week to week learning and running the opponent’s plays to prepare the team for the upcoming contest. These players need to be fast learners, quick, nimble and experienced enough to keep up and be as comparable as possible to the opponent.

The Bucs are going to want to keep any remaining talent they could freely have at their disposal close to the hip, especially given the uncertainties with COVID protocols in place. We’ve already seen players like Jaydon Mickens get called back after being cut and make the active roster. I have a feeling it’ll be a common occurrence throughout the season, so the practice squad pool of players is more important than ever this season. Teams will have until Sunday, September 6th at noon to claim players.

NFL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
Tight End Tanner Hudson takes a dive during the third quarter in the 2019 pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Easterling of Bucswire.com wrote who he predicts will make the practice squad. I agree with most of his predictions including bringing back running back Ray Calais and tight end Tanner Hudson.

Hudson was extended a one-year deal in March by the Bucs, so one could only assume he will remain a Buccaneer for the foreseeable future. The tight end room is just too crowded and Auclair is the better option to keep at the No. 4 spot on the depth chart. Keeping Hudson close is very good for the organization.

One of the biggest additions the Bucs made was acquiring quarterback Josh Rosen. Recently released from Miami to make way for Tua Tagovailoa, he brings game experience and youth for what could become a very real possibility for promotion heading into next season. Rosen also has a relationship with OC Byron Leftwich, who he played for in Arizona. Good strategic move by the Buccaneers front office.

NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp
Former Miami quarterback, Josh Rosen, signed to the Buccaneers practice squad.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Another twist in today’s practice squad acquisitions was the signing of former Titans kicker Greg Joseph. Now we have two former Titans kickers on the roster! Having an additional kicker behind Ryan Succop is a smart move, especially since the market talent seems really thin this year.

Noah Dawkins and Dare Ogunbwale are already working out with other teams. Greg Auman tweeted they are among the biggest names cut from the Bucs, but not being brought back to join the practice squad.

Here are some other likely players to make the practice squad roster:

C A.Q. Shipley (confirmed)

DL Benning Potoa’e

G Zach Bailey

WR Josh Pearson

DL Jeremiah Ledbetter

CB Mazzi Wilkins

LB Chapelle Russell

S D’Cota Dixon

WR Laquon Treadwell (Falcons)

OL Ka’John Armstrong (Falcons)

LB Jordan Kunaszyk (Panthers)

OL Patrick Omameh (Saints)

As we progress through the next couple of days, we’ll see the remaining spots fill in. We’re purely speculating at this point, but I would assume that the Bucs could be looking at players cut within the division in an effort to gain some first hand knowledge. We can only wait and see if that’s their move, as I suspect the final 4-5 spots are only guesses at this point.