TAMPA — The shuffling of the Buccaneers roster didn't stop at the benching of former starting QB Josh Freeman.
One day after coach Greg Schiano said his team's 0-4 start could result in more personnel changes, the Bucs released WR Kevin Ogletree and S Ahmad Black and promoted practice squad WR Chris Owusu to the 53-man roster.
The Bucs also placed TE Nate Byham (knee) on injured reserve and released WR Dan Buckner from the practice squad.
But those might not be the last moves the team makes.
Shortly after those transactions were announced, an equipment manager was filling Black's empty locker with equipment belonging to former Bucs WR Tiquan Underwood. It's possible the Bucs are planning to bring back Underwood as a replacement for Ogeltree, who was working primarily as the slot receiver.
Owusu could fill that role, too. He appeared to be winning a battle with Ogletree and Underwood for the job during training camp, but lost it after injuring an ankle.
“He had some really good early practices, then struggled in his first (preseason) game a little bit,'' Schiano said of Owusu. “Then he got hurt, but he's close to being all the way back, so we'll give him a chance and see what he does.''
Injuries have plagued Owusu for years. He suffered several concussions during his college career at Stanford and the ankle injury cost him a spot on the Bucs' initial 53-man roster. Owusu's patience and persistence have paid off, though.
“It feels good to be back on a 53-man roster,'' Owusu said. “This opportunity is a blessing and I'm going to make the most of it. I feel ready to go, 100 percent.''
Take a knee
The Bucs rolled out their controversial attack of the kneel-down play again Sunday, aggressively going after Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein on each of the last two plays of the game as QB Carson Palmer took a knee.
The tactic appeared to irk Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who curtly shook Schiano's hand at the game's end and was seen yelling at a Bucs defensive line coach. It also appears to have upset some fans.
On Tuesday, Schiano said he and his staff will examine the play for its effectiveness and, knowing the controversial nature of it, will consider abandoning it if his players decide that is best.
“As long as it's not one guy (and) it's the (whole) defense,'' Schiano said. “They're the ones doing it, right? I do leave it up to the players, because I'm not naÔve that that's a controversial thing.''
Cardinals K Jay Feely tweeted on Monday that Bucs defenders were apologizing for running the play, but Bucs S Dashon Goldson, who was in on both attempts, said he heard no apologies and knows of no desire to get rid of it.
“We haven't spoken about it,'' Goldson said. “We just play what's called. I'm not the guy who attacks the center because I'm on the outside, so it doesn't really affect me that much.''
Mano y Mono
The mysterious “illness'' that sidelined OL Gabe Carimi for the past two weeks was mononucleosis, and it cost the 6-foot-7, 316-pound Carimi a lot more than just a few days of practice time.
“I lost 20 pounds from it,'' Carimi said. “It was mono mixed with a bacterial infection. No, not MRSA. It wasn't that. But it really took it out of me. I was sleeping about 14 hours a day there.''
Carimi was unsure when he'll return to action because his spleen is enlarged and CT scans will have to be done before he's cleared again for full-time duty.
“Hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later, but (the trainers) didn't give me a time frame on it,'' Carimi said. “It's a day-to-day thing, they tell me.''