In an effort to fortify a defensive line that has suddenly been hit hard by injuries, the Buccaneers on Saturday signed former Bills first-round draft pick John McCargo.
The 6-foot-2, 307-pound McCargo was rated a second- or third-round selection as a defensive tackle by most scouts before the 2006 draft, but the Bills drafted him 26th overall and played him at defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.
The Bucs' plan is to use McCargo as a tackle, where he will replace E.J. Wilson, who went down with a ruptured Achilles' tendon during the 31-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday.
Wilson, a second-year pro out of North Carolina, has been waived (injured), but the Bucs hope he will clear waivers. If he does, the Bucs will place him on injured reserve.
Wilson is one of three Bucs DTs dealing with injuries. Brian Price is still recovering from offseason surgery to re-attach his hamstrings to his pelvis, and Roy Miller is nursing a slight MCL tear.
Though Miller's injury has the potential to sideline him for a couple of weeks or more, Bucs coach Rahaeem Morris doesn't seem concerned. He has yet to even rule Miller out for this week's game.
"Roy (Miller) I'm not concerned about,'' Morris said. "He had the ding of the knee. He may have a chance to come back this week as well. Frank Okam is still out there ticking, so I feel pretty comfortable with what we've got.''
McCargo is a North Carolina State product who wound up on injured reserve in 2006 after he passed out during camp drills. He rebounded to play in 16 games in 2007 as a backup to Bills starter Larry Tripplett.
McCargo was traded to the Colts in 2008, but the trade was voided and McCargo was sent back to the Bills after he failed his physical. He has played in 19 games since, with just one start.
Give and take
It's not often that the player on the receiving end of a vicious hit commends his rival for laying him out, but that's what Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco did in the wake of the Bucs' loss to New England on Friday.
"Great hit last night,'' Ochocinco wrote in a Twitter message to Mason Foster. "If (you're) fined i'll reimburse u boss. That's the way the game should b played. Stay healthy n have a good yr.''
Foster leveled Ochocinco and separated him from the ball during a first-quarter play in which Foster was penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting a defenseless player in or near the head with his shoulder and elbow.
Speculation is rampant that Foster may be fined as much as $20,000 for the hit. Despite Ochocinco's offer to reimburse Foster should he be fined, the NFL made it clear Saturday that is not allowed.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris changed up the Bucs' work-day routine dramatically Saturday. Mixed into the usual array of meetings and on- and off-field workouts was a team trip to the movies to see "Horrible Bosses.''
Morris later showed what a good boss he can be by canceling the team's scheduled practice. Of course, he was more or less forced into the latter move by a late-afternoon thunderstorm that drenched the practice facility.
The Bucs were originally slated to get both Saturday and today off, but Morris plans to work them in pads today and give them a full day off away from the facility on Monday.