Bucs sign veteran RB Antone Smith to help depth
For the second time this season, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is pulling from his Falcons days to add veteran depth at running back, with former FSU and Atlanta RB Antone Smith being signed to the 53-man roster on Monday.
Smith, 31, had only one carry last season with the Bears and hasn't played in the NFL this season. With Charles Sims on injured reserve and Doug Martin still sidelined with a hamstring injury, Smith represents a more experienced backup option than rookie Russell Hansbrough, who was waived Monday after making his NFL debut on special teams in last week's win against Carolina.
Smith, who is 5-foot-9 and 192 pounds, is reunited with Jacquizz Rodgers, who was with him in Atlanta when Koetter was the offensive coordinator there in 2012-14. Smith has a career total of 297 rushing yards and four touchdowns and 232 receiving yards and three scores. His arrival gives the Bucs a third healthy running back behind Rodgers and rookie Peyton Barber.
The Bucs added four players to the practice squad on Monday as well:
-- WR Donteea Dye, waived with an injury settlement before final preseason cuts, is back with the Bucs. He had 11 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown as an undrafted rookie last season and had looked to have the team's kickoff return job in preseason before a hamstring injury.
-- WR Freddie Martino, who had spent two weeks on the Bucs' active roster before being waived prior to the Bucs' win against Carolina. Martino played sparingly on offense in his two games on the active roster.
-- TE Tevin Westbrook, a converted defensive end who played at Florida and spent nearly all of last season on the Bucs' practice squad. Westbrook was with the Bucs in the offseason before being among their preseason cuts.
-- S Trae Elston, the only actual newcomer of the new arrivals, joins the practice squad after trying out for the Bucs two weeks ago. An undrafted rookie from Ole Miss, he spent the preseason with the Saints before being waived among their final cuts. He went to high school in Oxford, Ala., with current Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander.