Bucs release RB Hillis, promote TE Noble
One day before the Bucs' game at New England, Tampa Bay has released running back Peyton Hillis, who did not play in the team's first two games, and promoted tight end Danny Noble from the practice squad.
Hillis' release was a move in response to injuries that have hurt the Bucs' depth at tight end, with Tom Crabtree and Luke Stocker both limited by injuries this week. Noble, 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds, made the Bucs' roster as an undrafted rookie out of Toledo last year and played in four games without logging any statistics. He was among the team's preseason cuts last month and has been on the team's practice squad.
The Bucs opened the season with four running backs on roster, but two -- Hillis and seventh-round pick Mike James -- have yet to touch the ball, with limited work for backup Brian Leonard as well. Tampa Bay must make a decision by Monday on running back Jeff Demps, whose two-week roster exemption ends then, but Hillis' release isn't related to Demps.
Hillis had a breakout season in 2010, rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, but by 2012, he was in Kansas City, where he rushed for 309 yards last season.