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Bucs likely to waive Highsmith

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preparing to release fullback Alonzo Highsmith today.

Highsmith started the first five games at fullback for Tampa Bay but was pulled from the lineup in the first half of Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

He was replaced by rookie Anthony McDowell, an eighth-round draft pick from Texas Tech who was activated from the practice squad.

Highsmith met with coach Sam Wyche on Monday to discuss his future with the team, and when reached at his home Tuesday night, he said indications were he might not be with the club today.

"I talked with Sam on Monday, and he told me they may make some moves," Highsmith said. "I thought they might do something with me. What can I do about it? It's disappointing. I think maybe they're trying to single me out for why things are happening. One minute I'm told I'm the best blocking fullback in football, and the next, it's something else."

If Highsmith is waived today as he expects, it would end a puzzling career with the Bucs for the former Miami star.

After being acquired off waivers last season from the Dallas Cowboys, Highsmith played sparingly as a backup to fullback Robert Wilson, the team's third-round pick in 1991.

This year, Highsmith was waived by Wyche during the cutdown to the 60-man roster limit when the team opted to keep Wilson and McDowell. But two weeks later, Wyche reversed field and released Wilson and McDowell to re-sign Highsmith.

In five games, Highsmith rushed eight times for 23 yards and caught five passes for 28 yards.

But he was pulled from the lineup Sunday against the Colts shortly after his 9-yard reception of a pass originally intended for running back James Brooks.

Highsmith also had not been a contributor on special teams.

"I know I missed an assignment, but everybody has missed assignments," Highsmith said. "It just seems like things haven't gone well for me from the start."

Tampa Bay also is expected to waive former Bengals offensive tackle Brian Blados.

With guard Scott Dill ready to come off injured reserve in time for next Sunday's game at Chicago, Wyche indicated Monday that the club planned to release Blados, who was signed as a free agent two weeks ago.

"Brian Blados knew that he was coming in on a probable short-term basis," Wyche said. "And it looks like that's going to come to fruition."

Around the league

Seahawks: Kelly Stouffer, who dislocated his shoulder in Seattle's loss Sunday against San Diego, is out at least four weeks and will be replaced at quarterback by Dan McGwire.

_ The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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