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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

If Caddy comes back, who goes?



We're all anxiously waiting to see whether RB Cadillac Williams is activated in the next week from the physically unable to perform list.

It would be a great feat for a guy who suffered a devastating, career-threatening patellar tendon tear in his knee over a year ago. Williams has been working toward a return and the 21-day evaluation period -- after which he must be activated or placed on injured reserve -- ends Wednesday.

We're probably getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but if Williams is activated, there's one other step that will need to be taken: The Bucs will have to release someone from their 53-man active roster to make space for him.

With as many injuries as the Bucs are currently dealing with, it will be a challenge to find someone who isn't absolutely necessary right now.

There's a chance the Bucs could look to place one of their injured players on injured reserve, such as FB B.J. Askew, who has been out since tearing a hamstring in Week 3. As valuable as he is, the Bucs have already gone without his services for this long, and it's conceivable they'd make a tough call and place him on IR.

Another option I'm sure many here would be all too happy to suggest is releasing second-round pick Dexter Jackson, who clearly isn't in the plans and doesn't figure to have any kind of role for the remainder of the season now that he's lost the return duties. Still, I have a hard time envisioning this. One reason I don't see this happening is that releasing him would be tantamount to admitting the pick was a mistake. To this point, the Bucs have defended the choice, at least publicly. I reserve the right to be wrong on that one, though.

Another possibility is QB Josh Johnson, the fifth-round pick who won't play for the Bucs anytime soon. It's less likely that another team would pick him up this late in the season, at least one that had designs on using him in 2008. It would be unlikely he could help another team at this stage. But there's always a chance he could be attractive to another team that might be willing to invest some time in him and wouldn't mind stashing him on its roster right now. If released, he would have to clear waivers before the Bucs could sneak him onto the practice squad. Still, I've heard his name has come up in these kinds of conversations earlier in the season. It's tough to keep four quarterbacks under any circumstances, let alone with the Bucs' current injury situation.

This is just one of the many personnel challenges the Bucs will face this season. As usual, this one will be a tough call, too.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:16pm]


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