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Bucs’ purge begins with release of punt returner Bobo Wilson

Wilson muffed two punts Sunday vs. Carolina, losing one. The team also released LB Devante Bond.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bobo Wilson (85) during the second half of a preseason game against the Browns on Aug. 23. [MARK LOMOGLIO  |  AP]
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bobo Wilson (85) during the second half of a preseason game against the Browns on Aug. 23. [MARK LOMOGLIO | AP]
Published Oct. 15
Updated Oct. 15

TAMPA — The Bucs had seven turnovers in Sunday’s 37-26 loss to Carolina in London. Bobo Wilson committed one of them when he lost a punt in the fourth quarter and it cost him his job.

The Bucs released Wilson and linebacker Devante Bond on Tuesday in what was not an unexpected purging of some players during the bye week following a 2-4 start.

The 24-year-old Wilson muffed two punts against the Panthers, one with the Bucs trailing 34-18 with about nine minutes left in the game. The ball was recovered by Panthers running back Jordan Scarlett and led to a field goal.

In addition to his costly fumble, Wilson’s lack off production as a punt returner was the biggest concern, coach Bruce Arians said Monday. Wilson was averaging 2.8 yards per return.

Wilson was asked following Sunday’s game if he was worried about losing his job.

“I’m sure that’s in Coach’s control,” Wilson said. “I can just control what I can control.”

The Bucs could turn to receiver Scotty Miller or kickoff returner T.J. Logan to return punts with the release of Wilson. No corresponding moves have been announced.

Wilson had three catches for 35 yards as a receiver this season. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and was a teammate of quarterback Jameis Winston’s at Florida State.

Bond, 26, was a sixth-round pick of the Bucs out of Oklahoma in 2016. He played in four games this season with three tackles, including one for a loss.

No corresponding moves have been made by the Bucs.

Not to be outdone, the Panthers waived punt returner Ray Ray McCloud on Tuesday after he fumbled against the Bucs. It was McCloud’s third of the season but the only one he had lost.

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