The Bucs released running back Peyton Hillis, who did not play in the first two games, and promoted tight end Danny Noble from the practice squad Saturday.
Tight ends Tom Crabtree (ankle) and Luke Stocker (hip) were limited at practices last week. Noble, 6 feet 5, 248 pounds, made the roster as an undrafted rookie out of Toledo last season and played in four games without logging any statistics. He was among the preseason cuts last month before being signed to the practice squad.
The Bucs opened the season with four running backs on the roster. But two, Hillis and seventh-round pick Mike James, have not touched the ball with Brian Leonard seeing limited time as well.
Tampa Bay must make a decision by Monday on running back and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps, whose two-week roster exemption ends then.
Hillis had a breakout season in 2010, rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Browns. But by 2012, he was in Kansas City, where he rushed for 309 yards.
Rice reportedly out
BALTIMORE — The Ravens are "slated" to start Bernard Pierce at running back today against the Texans, the Baltimore Sun reported. That would mean Ray Rice, who has started 43 consecutive regular-season games, is out. Rice missed all three days of practice last week with a strained left hip flexor. The Sun reported the Ravens believe it is a "two-week injury."
Broncos: Linebacker Shaun Phillips, who has a team-high 2½ sacks, missed practice with back spasms. Phillips, 32, a 10th-year veteran, has seen an increased role in the absence of suspended linebacker Von Miller. He called his absence "just precautionary. … It's the team looking out for the players; getting old."
Giants: Cornerback Corey Webster, who had started 34 consecutive games, was downgraded from doubtful to out because of a hip injury. Veteran Aaron Ross, who was demoted to special teams last week, is expected to start.
Redskins: Tight end Fred Davis was added to the injury report and is questionable with an ankle injury. Davis played sparingly during the second half of last week's loss to the Packers, although coach Mike Shanahan said it was because of performance, not injury.
Texans: Starting left tackle Duane Brown, a first-team All-Pro last season, was downgraded from doubtful to out because of a toe injury. Ryan Harris will replace him.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.