The Buccaneers signed tight end/linebacker Daniel Wilcox to its 53-man roster Wednesday, just one day after placing defensive tackle Anthony McFarland on the injured reserve with a broken foot.
The Bucs signed Wilcox off of the New York Jets' five-man practice squad, where he spent the entire 2002 regular season.
While the addition of Wilcox gives Tampa Bay five tight ends on its active roster, the Buccaneers acquired the 6-foot-1, 245-pound tight end for his ability to play on special teams.
"We think this guy has some ability, obviously," Gruden said of Wilcox on Wednesday. "He's been a good, solid special teams man, at least for (the Jets) in the preseason. We'll see if we can bring him up to speed. There is a chance he'll be active to help us in that area."
It's no secret that Tampa Bay's special teams coverage units have struggled as of late. Last Sunday against Detroit, the team's special teams kickoff coverage unit allowed kick returner Eddie Drummond to return kicker Martin Gramatica's kickoff 91 yards in the fourth quarter, which led to a game-tying field goal. The Lions averaged just over 37 yards per kickoff return against the Bucs in last Sunday's contest.
Wilcox entered the National Football League with the New York Jets in 2001 as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State. He saw action in one game in '01 and was inactive for nine contests. Ironically, Wilcox made his debut with the Jets when he played on special teams against Pittsburgh, who is Tampa Bay's opponent on Monday night. Wilcox will sport jersey No. 41.
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