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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Conte injury opens opportunity for Bucs safety McFadden



The Bucs placed starting safety Chris Conte on injured reserve Friday with a knee injury that also kept him out of last week's game, which means first-year player Kimario McFadden will be the Bucs' No. 3 safety in Sunday's season finale at Carolina.

McFadden, 24, made his NFL debut for the Bucs against the Cowboys in November, totaling 24 snaps on special teams in two games before he was released and signed back to the practice squad. He'll play special teams Sunday and should get a look on defense as well, with starters Keith Tandy and Bradley McDougald as the only other safeties on the Bucs' roster.

"It's big -- this gives me a pretty good chance to stick around for next year," McFadden said. "It's going to be huge for me. It will keep me in the league, coming from undrafted."

McFadden, who played at South Carolina State, spent the final month of last season on the Panthers' practice squad and was on their roster until May, so there's a familiarity with Carolina's roster.

Another special-teams player for the Bucs, linebacker Adarius Glanton, spent most of the last two seasons with the Panthers, getting 12 tackles in 10 games as a rookie last year and spending the first three months of this season on the Carolina practice squad. Glanton said his knowledge of the Panthers' schemes and personnel should help him on Sunday.

"I've been with those guys. I know how all of them play," he said.  "I feel like it'll help me. My preparation is always trying to key in on how guys play, and I already know that, so that helps me a lot this week."

INJURIES: The Bucs have placed WR Vincent Jackson, DT Akeem Spence, S Major Wright and Conte on injured reserve in the past week, so depth will be an issue at some positions. The Bucs won't likely have any severe injuries among their seven inactives, so the decision on who to dress is up to which recent promotions the coaches want to see -- WR Evan Spencer and TE Tevin Westbrook could make their NFL debuts after extended looks on the practice squad.

CALLED UP: For the fifth time in two weeks, the Bucs have been able to promote a practice squad player and keep them on board for 2016, promoting linebacker Darius Eubanks, 24, who last played in the NFL with the Browns in 2013 and spent much of this season on the Cowboys' practice squad.

[Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2016 2:15pm]


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