TAMPA — The Bucs placed G J.R. Sweezy and WR Louis Murphy on the reserve-physically unable to perform list Tuesday, meaning neither will play in the first five games of the regular season.
The moves were not unexpected. Sweezy, who had surgery for a herniated disc in his back, hasn't practiced since signing in March. Murphy is still recovering from ACL surgery to his knee in November.
The two are eligible to start practicing in Week 7 of the regular season, which opens a three-week period in which they can return to the active roster.
Tampa Bay re-signed two players waived Sunday: Former Clearwater High LB Jeremiah George and S Kimario McFadden. The two provide depth for tonight's preseason finale against the Redskins, allowing the Bucs to rest their starters, but neither is likely to make the final cut to 53 players on Saturday.
The Bucs made two other roster moves Tuesday to get to the NFL cutdown of 75 players, waiving WR Donteea Dye with a hamstring injury and waiving OL Joel Hale.
Second chance: The Bucs' preseason opened with WR Kenny Bell fumbling a kickoff return on the opening play at Philadelphia. Bell now hopes to get another shot on kickoffs against Washington to help his case to make the 53-man roster.
"I hope so. I do believe I will," Bell said. "Anything I can do in a positive manner is a good way to get on the team, whether it's gunning, covering kicks or returning them. … Obviously I would love a second chance. I haven't gotten one yet, but definitely ready for that opportunity."
Bell has just one catch for 9 yards in the preseason, and is batting Evan Spencer and Bernard Reedy (among others) for the fifth and perhaps final receiver spot. The gane against Washington was moved up from Thursday to help avoid expected heavy rains and high winds associated with Tropical Depression Nine, moving toward Florida from the Gulf of Mexico.
"That's just unfortunate, to really stack it against you," Bell said. "You're talking about trying to make a team as a receiver, to know that a tropical storm is coming that's going to mess with the field and there's going to be a wet football. It's tough. It's the kind of stuff you have to laugh at as life is throwing punches your way. You just have to dodge them."
This and that: Tonight's preseason finale will be shown on NFL Network nationally in addition to its local broadcast on WFLA Ch. 8. … Four players were held out of practice Tuesday: WR Vincent Jackson (unspecified), OT Demar Dotson (unspecified), OG Ali Marpet (ankle) and LB Devonte Bond (hamstring). RB Mike James was back at practice after being held out of Friday's game, but coach Dirk Koetter wouldn't say if he'd play against Washington.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.