Bucs cornerback Verner 'day-to-day' with hamstring
Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner, among the team's top free-agent additions this offseason, watched Monday's practice to rest a hamstring injury, but he said it's just normal "nicks" from camp and he's no worse than "day-to-day."
With Verner out, the Bucs had returning starter Johnthan Banks and free-agent signee Mike Jenkins working as first-team corners. But the injury, combined with another ankle injury to second-string corner Rashaan Melvin, was enough that the Bucs signed Anthony Gaitor, who had been released in May, then again by the Dolphins in June after signing there.
"When we released Anthony, I told him it was a numbers game. 'We may end up calling you back. Stay ready,'" coach Lovie Smith. "He never really got a true chance to show what he can do. He's back, made a couple of plays, of course a pick-six (in 7-on-7 drills) out there. We're taking note."
Gaitor, who had a combined 12 tackles with the Bucs in 2011-12 but missed last season with a torn ACL, said he was working out in south Florida on Sunday when he noticed a missed call -- his agent, telling him to hurry to Tampa and rejoin the team.
"It's a great feeling being back around the guys I played with," said Gaitor, who had four months under the new coaches to learn the current defensive scheme. "It's a blessing, and I have to take advantage of the opportunity."
Melvin, who twisted his ankle last week and had worn a boot on his foot Sunday, had no boot on Monday but still was a spectator at practice. Bucs players have Tuesday off before resuming practice on Wednesday afternoon, with the first preseason game still another 11 days off at Jacksonville on Aug. 8.
The Bucs also on Monday signed Jibreel Black, an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Michigan, who will compete for the fourth defensive tackle job against fellow rookie Euclid Cummings and second-year pro Matt Masifilo. To make room for the two additions, the Bucs cut two undrafted rookies, Cal running back Brendan Bigelow and N.C. State receiver Quintin Payton.