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  1. Bucs

Bucs bring back returner Page to practice squad

The Bucs have signed last year's primary return specialist, receiver Eric Page, to the practice squad, the first step toward making a change from rookie Solomon Patton on kickoff and punt returns.

Page, who handled both return duties for the Bucs last season, was cut in preseason. Patton had a promising start on returns, but didn't make it past the 20-yard line on two of his three kickoff returns in Sunday's loss to the Saints.

"Special teams have been OK," coach Lovie Smith said Monday. "Would like to get a little bit more from our return game."

Patton, an undrafted rookie from Florida, still ranks in the top half of the league in both return categories -- he's eighth among qualified returners with an 11.7-yard average on punt returns, and 12th with a 22.9-yard average on kickoff returns.

No corresponding move has been announced to open up a spot on the 10-man practice squad, but former UC-Davis tight end Taylor Sloat, signed last week, wasn't seen in the locker room Tuesday.

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