The Buccaneers faced the end of the two-week roster exemption granted to Jeff Demps on Monday, forcing them to choose whether or not to add him to the 53-man roster or release him.
They’ve chosen the former. The team announced Monday that they have added Demps to the roster and placed tight end Luke Stocker on season-ending injured reserve. Stocker played the first two weeks of the season, but injured his hip against the Saints in Week Two and missed Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.
Demps was acquired in a trade with the Patriots for running back LeGarrette Blount during the offseason, but spent the spring and summer concentrating on his track career. He joined the Bucs after competing at the world championships this summer and has obviously shown them enough to earn a spot on the roster as a running back and returner.
The kick and punt return jobs are currently held by wide receiver Eric Page, who is averaging 7.8 yards per punt return and 30 yards on the two kickoffs he’s been able to take back. It would be a bit surprising if the Bucs decided to use a roster spot on Demps if they didn’t plan on letting him perform those roles in an attempt to take advantage of his Olympic-level speed.