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Cole Beasley makes solid first impression with Bucs, but will he play Sunday?

The 33-year-old receiver is scurrying to get up to speed with Tampa Bay’s offense.
New Bucs wide receiver Cole Beasley (15) runs during the early part of Thursday's practice at AdventHealth Training Center.
New Bucs wide receiver Cole Beasley (15) runs during the early part of Thursday's practice at AdventHealth Training Center. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 22|Updated Sep. 24

TAMPA — If his second full day as a Bucs employee is any sign, newest receiver Cole Beasley is making a solid transition from unsigned free agency to NFL rigor.

But whether Beasley is elevated from the practice squad for Sunday’s home opener against the Packers remains unclear.

“I don’t know yet. I can’t really answer that question,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said Thursday. “We’re just getting finished really with Day 2. I want to look at the film, grade the film, but he’s been doing well since he got here.”

In contrast to the injury-besieged corps of Bucs receivers, coming off consecutive games played on an artificial surface, Beasley, 33, has displayed “fresh legs” to this point, Leftwich noted. He had 82 catches for the Bills last season but was released in March and had no training camp for the first time in his decade-long NFL career.

“When you first see him, you understand that he’s been around football a long time, and you see why he’s had the success that he’s had,” Leftwich said. “He’s very detailed, he’s come in and actually had two good days of practice. Obviously, it’s the first two days, but he looked good the first two days.”

His newest quarterback, while stopping well short of offering a practice observation, said he has admired Beasley for years.

“I’ve watched him a long time, too. He’s been around a long time,” Tom Brady said. “I think he’s a great player.”

Whether Beasley’s needed for Sunday could hinge on the next two days. Mike Evans (one-game suspension) already is out, and Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) again were absent from Thursday’s practice. Another potential Brady target, rookie tight end Cade Otton, remains out for personal reasons.

“So we’re just trying to get (Beasley) caught up on the system, the wording, everything, where he’ll need to be if he’s needed,” Leftwich said.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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