Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs add former Browns nose tackle Kitchen

TAMPA — Continuing to search for depth at defensive tackle, the Bucs on Monday signed former Browns NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen.

Kitchen, 27, whose first name is pronounced ish-MAY-lee, practiced Monday morning, wearing a No. 66 jersey. He's one of the Bucs' biggest defensive linemen at 330 pounds, having totaled 78 tackles in three seasons with the Browns from 2012-14. He played one game each last season with the Lions and Patriots without logging any statistics.

The Bucs have three proven defensive tackles in Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence, but little proven depth behind them. Cliff Matthews and A.J. Francis have played in the NFL, and the rest of the competition is rookies Davonte Lambert and Travis Britz.

"We're definitely still looking," coach Dirk Koetter said after Monday's practice. "There's still good competition there and we added another guy to the mix yesterday. Cliff Matthews and A.J., those guys are in a battle."

The Bucs waived-injured undrafted rookie S Elijah Shumate, who has been limited by a wrist injury. Shumate got a $13,000 signing bonus — among the highest for Bucs undrafted free agents — out of Notre Dame.

GETTING BACK: Two days after the Bucs practiced without 12 players Saturday, five of those players were back and working out Monday as the Bucs prepare for a busy week of joint practices and Saturday night's game at the Jaguars.

Rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves, RB Charles Sims and DE Will Gholston were the biggest names back in pads and practicing — Hargreaves sat out Saturday's practice with an undisclosed injury, Sims had been out since early last week after tweaking his ankle at Tropicana Field and Gholston had been excused since missing Thursday's preseason opener at the Eagles due to a family illness.

Rookie LB Cassanova McKinzy, who had missed two full weeks of practice with a hamstring injury, was back for the first time Monday, and rookie T Leonard Wester was back in pads as well, though newcomer Kelvin Palmer was working as the second-string left tackle.

Six players remain sidelined — G J.R. Sweezy (back) and WR Louis Murphy (knee), who remain on the physically unable to perform list, and rookie G Caleb Benenoch, out since the first week of camp with a left foot/ankle injury. TE Brandon Myers, who injured his knee in Thursday's game, did not practice, nor did long-snapper Andrew DePaola or Donovan Smith, who is recovering from the flu.

THIS AND THAT: WR Kenny Bell, who had a rough preseason opener with a fumbled kickoff return and offensive pass interference penalty, worked with the third-string offense Monday. … With Donovan Smith sidelined again, the Bucs again had Kevin Pamphile working as the first-string left tackle and Evan Smith filling in at left guard. … Koetter said that WR Donteea Dye will get the first crack on kickoff returns in Saturday's preseason game against the Jaguars. He took over against the Eagles after Bell's fumble on the opening kick.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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