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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs moves: Stocker to IR, Demps signed to roster

23

September

TAMPA -- After two weeks of practice, the Bucs made the decision Monday to sign former Gators running back and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps to the 53-man roster, taking the place of tight end Luke Stocker, who went on injured reserve with a hip injury.

Stocker, who was inactive for Sunday's loss to the Patriots, did not catch a pass this season. The third-year pro from Tennessee has just 28 catches for 257 yards and a touchdown since joining the Bucs. Tampa Bay traded two fourth-round picks to Philadelphia to take him in 2011; the Bucs promoted tight end Danny Noble from the practice squad on Saturday.

Demps, acquired from the Patriots for running back LeGarrette Blount, could provide a spark on offense or especially on returns, where current returner Eric Page may have an increased role on offense with injuries there. Demps didn't join the team until the start of the regular season, honoring commitments to his track schedule.

Demps won national titles in football and track at Florida, and earned a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics as part of the United States' entry in the 4x100-meter relay. Demps wasn't on the relay in the finals, but ran in a preliminary heat and earned a medal. His initial contributions are likely to be as a return specialist.

LITTLE THINGS: Greg Schiano still believes tiny changes can add up to the big difference his team is seeking on the scoreboard after an 0-3 start.

"Details," Schiano said, asked what stands out to him from Sunday's 23-3 loss to the Patriots. "Schematic issues that we have to be more precise. We left way too much on the table there. If we just do our jobs, we'll score a lot of points."

NICKS OF TIME: Schiano was pleased to get Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks back for his season debut after missing the first two games with a toe injury and a staph infection. Nicks started at left guard and stayed in the full game.

"He looked like a guy who practiced for a week, as far as all the little details, but he's just so big and strong, you can feel his physical presence in there," Schiano said. "I look forward to him getting more practice and fine-tuning his game."

INJURY UPDATES: Schiano confirmed that WR Vincent Jackson (ribs) and DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) are slowed with injuries, but said it's "too early to tell what that will mean for ... Sunday." WR Mike Williams has an "upper leg injury ... not sure exactly what it is yet." ... Tight end Tom Crabtree has missed three games with an ankle sprain, and Schiano said "there's a chance" he plays Sunday against Arizona.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 4:36pm]

    

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