TAMPA — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has granted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a roster exemption for running back Jeff Demps but that roster exemption will expire before the month is out.
The Bucs have until Sept. 23 to make a decision on Demps, the Olympic sprinter who came to the team in a trade last April and missed all of training camp and the preseason while participating in the IAAF World Championships.
Demps, who was part of the 2012 U.S. Olympic silver-medal winning 4x100 meter relay team, has been on the Reserve/Did Not Report list since he didn’t arrive at training camp.
After taking a two-week break following the end of the track and field season, Demps reported to the Bucs on Monday and it appears as though the team may have some plans for him as either a running back or return man.
“There is no immediate plan like ‘OK, Sunday you’ll see him doing this,’’’ Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “The guy hasn’t played football in a while, so we’ll try to get him back into playing football and get him educated in the Buccaneer way.
“Then as we roll into it, if there’s promise there, we’ll move forward. And if he’s feeling good, then we’ll keep moving forward. It’s a two-way street. He’ll walk into the NFL probably as one of the fastest players in the league, so that’s always nice to have on your team.’’