Bucs sign S Major Wright, cut RB Mike James, WR Louis Murphy
The unspecified injury to Bucs starting safety Chris Conte is serious enough that Tampa Bay on Tuesday signed veteran Major Wright to add experienced depth, waiving backup RB Mike James to make room.
Wright, 28, has not played in the NFL this season -- he was among the Bucs' preseason cuts in August and had workouts with the Dolphins and Panthers but wasn't signed by either team. He had 76 total tackles with Tampa Bay in 2014-15, and worked with Bucs defensive backs coach Jon Hoke when they both were with the Bears. If Conte can't play Sunday at the Chargers, Keith Tandy would start in his place, with Wright as a backup, along with rookie Ryan Smith, who hasn't played a snap on defense.
The Bucs also announced Tuesday that WR Louis Murphy has been waived off the PUP-reserve list -- he has not played this season, suffering a setback the first week he returned to practice from ACL surgery last year. Murphy would have been paid for the rest of the season, so it's likely he asked to be waived so he can play elsewhere this season. He was due to make $2-million in 2017, so the move opens up some salary-cap room for the Bucs next season.
The waiving of James suggests that RB Jacquizz Rodgers, who has missed the last four games with a foot sprain, is ready to return Sunday as a backup to Doug Martin. Rodgers had two 100-yard rushing games filling in for Martin before his injury.
The Bucs added DT Rodney Coe back to their practice squad officially, releasing DE Kourtnei Brown to make room. Brown has now been cut 12 times by seven different NFL teams, including three times by the Bucs.