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Bucs sign linebacker Sam Acho, tight end Antony Auclair to IR

The former Cardinals draft pick is reunited with coach Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay

TAMPA — Hoping to improve a pass rush that has only 19 sacks this season, the Bucs signed former Cardinals and Bears outside linebacker Sam Acho to a one-year contract Tuesday.

To make room for Acho, the Bucs played tight end Antony Auclair on injured reserve with a foot injury he sustained in Sunday’s 40-34 loss at Seattle.

Acho, a fourth-round pick from Texas by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, spent four season with the Cardinals and three with the Chicago Bears before being released in Aug. by the Buffalo Bills.

The 31-year-old Acho has 17 career sacks and 236 tackles. Arians did not take over as head coach of the Cardinals until 2013, but defensive coordinator Todd Bowles also inherited Acho as defensive coordinator in Arizona.

Outside linebackers Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson both left Sunday’s game with injuries, forcing Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett to play most of the snaps against the Seahawks. The Bucs rank 23rd in sacks. Linebacker Shaq Barrett has 10.5 of the Bucs’ 19 sacks this season.

Auclair’s injury potentially leaves the Bucs thin at tight end. O.J. Howard missed the past two games with a hamstring injury while Cameron Brate managed to play Sunday despite a rib injury.

"If you only know how God has been with me through this journey,'' Acho said. "You would have no choice but to sing. Through the ups and downs, the highs the lows, and everywhere in between. He’s been my friend. We have a friend in Jesus.''