Bucs Add FB McFadden, Release RB Wilson

August 10 – After losing three of their four fullbacks to injury in the first two weeks of training camp, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed FB Leroy McFadden to a one-year contract on Friday. In order to make room for McFadden, the Bucs placed FB Charles Kirby on the injured reserve and released rookie RB Jamie Wilson.

After Tampa Bay lost RB/FB Rabih Abdullah to a hamstring pull last Wednesday night, head Coach Tony Dungy indicated the team would not bring in another fullback. Two days later, the Buccaneers signed one.

On Friday, Tampa Bay signed FB Leroy McFadden to a one-year contract. McFadden will fill in while the Buccaneers patiently wait for fullbacks Mike Alstott and Abdullah to return from their hamstring injuries.

Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen indicated on Friday that Alstott would likely be back for the last preseason game against the New England Patriots. Abdullah stated to Buccaneer Magazine on Wednesday night that he thought he would miss a week of camp at the most.

Veteran FB Charles Kirby was lost for the season when he suffered an Achilles injury. Until Friday afternoon, the only healthy fullback the Buccaneers had on their roster was rookie Jameel Cook. Although McFadden was signed on Friday, Cook should receive the majority of the reps in camp and in preseason games.

Tampa Bay will also be using TE Randy Palmer as a fullback and will also try some of the other tight ends at the position.

In order to sign McFadden, the Buccaneers placed Kirby on the injured reserve, which means his season is finished, while releasing rookie RB Jamie Wilson. Wilson's was a dark horse to begin with, but he struggled with injuries throughout camp. The emergence of RB Pepe Pearson probably contributed to the decision to release Wilson as well.

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