TAMPA — The Bucs began trimming their roster Friday in anticipation of Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline, but coach Bruce Arians revealed that two young players have likely made the 53-man cut.
Arians indicated Friday afternoon that second-year inside linebacker Jack Cichy has made the team as well as rookie wide receiver Scotty Miller.
Asked whether any player played his way onto the roster in the Bucs’ 17-15 win in Dallas on Thursday, Arians named Cichy, who had a sack and fumble recovery in the game. He also said that despite some tough competition at wide receiver, Miller — who missed the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury — “showed enough promise” this preseason.
The Bucs, meanwhile, cut their preseason roster by 21.
Rookie receiver Spencer Schnell, who led the team in receiving in the preseason openers, was waived as well as cornerback De’Vante Harris, who played in 10 games in an injury-depleted secondary last season, and offensive lineman Ruben Holcomb, who was on the practice squad last season.
Other cuts included safety Lukas Denis, receiver Matthew Eaton, outside linebacker Farrington Huguenin, receiver Anthony Johnson, outside linebacker David Kenney, receiver DaMarkus Lodge, tight end Scott Orndorff, offensive tackle Will Poehls, defensive lineman Elijah Qualls, offensive tackle Brock Ruble, inside linebacker Emmanuel Smith, quarterback Vincent Testaverde, Jr., defensive lineman Stevie Tu’ikolovatu and offensive guard Salesi Uhatafe. All were placed on waivers.
The Bucs released center Josh LeRibeus and inside linebacker Corey Nelson.
Receivers K.J. Brent and Cortrelle Simpson were waived and will now negotiate injury settlements.
Those cuts trimmed the roster to 69 players. Placing outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and quarterback Nick Fitzgerald on the reserve/non-football injury list and moving cornerback Ryan Smith to the reserve/suspended list will open three more spots, so the Bucs still must make 13 cuts to get to the final roster.
Arians said the most difficult spots to make cuts will be at wide receiver, defensive back, inside linebacker and tight end.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see guys on other teams from those rooms,” Arians said. “The special teams part of it is the deciding factor. One guy might be a better player at his position but he’s not as good as the next guy as a special teams player when you start getting down to four, five and six (on the depth chart).”
Arians: David, Vea expected for Week 1
Arians said that inside linebacker Lavonte David, out since early August recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, is expected to practice Tuesday and be ready for the season opener Sept. 8 against the 49ers.
On defensive tackle Vita Vea, he said, “I’ll know more by Tuesday and he’ll be here all weekend working out. It’ll be close, but I think he’ll be there."
Preparing for Dorian
While the Bucs and the league are closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Dorian as it approaches Florida, Arians said it’s too early to really know what impact it will have on the Bucs’ practice week.
The team isn’t scheduled to resume practice until Tuesday, which is when the storm could begin to impact the area.
“I talk to 10 people, I’m getting 10 different things — Monday night, Tuesday, Wednesday,” Arians said. "It’s just play it by ear and I don’t think it’s going to affect us in any way other than we’ll be practicing inside with a lot of noise and be ready to go.”
Latest on the kickers
Matt Gay has all but officially sealed the team's placekicking job, but he did leave the team from Dallas to be with his wife for the birth of his first child. It's not certain when he will return.
Asked whether that means the team could carry both Gay and Cairo Santos on the 53-man roster, Arians said that would have nothing to do with their decision. Arians added that the team has received trade interest in Santos — as well as other players — leading into the weekend. Santos, however, isn’t subject to waivers, so a team could just wait until the Bucs release him and sign him rather than give up something in a trade.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @EddieInTheYard.