TAMPA — Demoted from starting cornerback to barely playing in the last three games, Tim Jennings saw his Bucs career end Monday when the 31-year-old former Pro Bowl player was waived.
Jennings, 31, who had been a key part of Lovie Smith's defenses in Chicago, was reunited with his old coach after the Bears cut him in preseason. He started three games, was inactive for two games, then was relegated to special-teams work in Sunday's loss to the Giants.
Jennings' dismissal is part of a continuing upheaval in the Bucs' secondary. Starters Johnthan Banks and Mike Jenkins were benched Sunday, with Banks not playing a snap on defense and Jenkins getting in on four plays. They were replaced by Sterling Moore, who got an interception on the game's first play, and rookie Jude Adjei-Barimah, who had six tackles in his first career start.
"I feel like they both played well," Smith said of the new cornerbacks. "We have looked for different combinations back there. I like some of the things both of those guys did."
WELCOME BACK: As expected, the Bucs used the opening from Jennings' release to activate OT Demar Dotson, who has been on short-term injured reserve for the first nine weeks.
Dotson returned to practice two weeks ago and is expected to compete with Gosder Cherilus for his old job as the starting right tackle.
INJURY UPDATE: Smith was optimistic that rookie G Ali Marpet (ankle) and S Bradley McDougald (concussion) wouldn't have extended absences after leaving Sunday's game with injuries.
"Ali Marpet's ankle is getting better," Smith said. "We'll kind of see how it plays out the rest of the week. Bradley McDougald is in the concussion protocol. Two players, of course, that we need … so hopefully they'll be good to go."
BIG CROWD: With help from Giants fans, the Bucs had their highest attendance of the season Sunday. Then announced crowd of 64,351 was about 400 more than the season opener against the Titans. The actual attendance, per the Tampa Sports Authority, was 59,641, a season high by more than 2,000, and more than 10,000 more than the last home game against the Jaguars.
THIS AND THAT: The Bucs will have an opening on their practice squad, as former Gators LB Ronald Powell will be placed on injured reserve today after one week with the team. … DE Jacquies Smith, who missed Sunday's game with a sprained ankle, was no longer wearing a boot on his left foot in the locker room Monday. … After nine penalties Sunday, the Bucs remain the second-most penalized team in the NFL, behind the Bills. Tampa Bay has eight unnecessary roughness penalties, also second-most behind the Bills (11).
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.