Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs sign punter Sam Paulescu
TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed punter Sam Paulescu to replace injured Dirk Johnson. Johnson was placed on injured reserve Monday, one day after tearing a hamstring muscle during Tampa Bay's 20-17 loss at Atlanta. Johnson was hurt attempting a pass on a fake punt early in the fourth quarter. He was replaced in the game by kicker Connor Barth, who had not punted since high school. Paulescu, who worked out for Tampa Bay on Tuesday, played one game with Denver in 2007, 10 games with Dallas in 2008 and one game with Washington earlier this season. His career average is 42.4 yards, with a 36.1-yard net average.In addition to punting, Paulescu will be asked to hold for Barth on kick attempts. If he is unable, Tampa Bay's other possible holders include receiver Brian Clark, backup quarterback Josh Johnson and tight end Kellen Winslow. Paulescu played collegiately at Oregon State.