The arrival of veteran wide-out Cecil Shorts had led to a shakeup in the Buccaneers wide receiver depth chart.
In addition to knocking fifth wide receiver Evan Spencer off the roster. Shorts has also bumped fourth receiver Russell Shepard down a notch.
“We’re asking him to sort of fill in the fourth slot right now, if you believe in slotting guys,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.
Shorts may not stop there. As Koetter pointed out, Shorts has been a No. 2 wideout on just about every team’s he’s played on. If he can stay healthy, which was a problem last year, Shorts could eventually step into the No. 3 role with the Bucs.
Reminder, too, that Shorts played WR for Koetter when he was the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville and a lot of the plays and terminology would be similar if not the exact same designs.
No matter where he slots in, though, it’s apparent the Bucs plan to make Shorts a big part of their attack.
“He has like 212 career catches, which is about 210 more than our fourth and fifth guys here right now or something like that,’’ Koetter said.
That wasn’t necessarily a shot at Spencer. After all, the Bucs re-signed him to their practice squad on Thursday.
That move came after the Bucs promoted running back Peyton Barber to the active roster as a replacement for Mike James, who was waived injured on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Koetter hinted more about Sunday and beyond. “So he’s going to play. You know, everyone’s been complaining about the back end of our receiver group. Well, that’s a definite upgrade there.’’
That sounds like a coach that could welcome a guy for the first time to his new team on a Wednesday and have him at least active on Sunday? Doesn’t it?