The Bucs’ ever-changing cornerback corps is going to have yet another look in Week 14.
Out, for this week at least, is first-year man LeQuan Lewis, has played a significant number of snaps in recent weeks as a nickel back. He suffered a knee injury in Denver and will miss at least this next game, though the injury is not considered a season-ender.
In is Anthony Gaitor, who hasn’t played since the second week of the preseason. He suffered a hamstring strain in training camp and that forced the team to deactivate him for the first four games of the regular season. When the injury didn’t respond quickly, the Bucs elected to put Gaitor on injured reserve, using their new, one-time “designated-for-return option.” Gaitor returned to practice two weeks ago but did not count against the 53-man roster as he worked his way back into game shape.
He counts now. The Buccaneers announced on Friday that they have activated Gaitor from IR to the 53-man roster. They did not have to make a paired move because the team had been carrying only 52 players since last week, when Cody Grimm and Jeremy Trueblood were both placed on injurd reserve.
Gaitor is expected to play on Sunday against the Eagles and could even have an active role on defense. He got some late-season action at the nickel position as a rookie in 2011, and he looked extremely sharp in the Bucs’ new defense this summer. In just two preseason games he racked up six tackles and two passes defensed.
“I came in from last season and tried to pick up from last year, the momentum I had, and just go from there,” said Gaitor. “I learned the speed of the game and knowledge from studying opponents’ film.”