TAMPA, Fla. -- It's rare that a second-round draft pick is on the market after two seasons, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to scoop one up Wednesday, signing former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson to their practice squad.
Golson will bring depth to a Tampa Bay secondary that has been struggling with injuries. Vernon Hargreaves III left this past week's game against the New York Jets with a hamstring injury and did not practice Wednesday, while Robert McClain has also been battling a hamstring injury and Brent Grimes has missed multiple games this season with an injured shoulder.
Golson is also no stranger to injuries, as his three-year career has been marred by them. In fact, his injuries have been so bad and so untimely that he still has yet to take a regular-season snap in the NFL.
There was the torn labrum that landed him on injured reserve and required surgery in 2015. Then there was the Lisfranc foot injury in 2016 that also required surgery. And his most recent? A pulled hamstring that was significant enough it required him to be carted off the practice field in training camp.
"Just all the injuries came about -- one happened and then you're trying to get back, ready to go and you've gotta compensate for having an arm not working or, 'I can lift but I can't run because of the foot.' So now I'm to the point where I can run and lift and get everything going," said Golson, who believes this is the healthiest he's been since prior to his rookie season. "It's been a while since I felt how I'm feeling now. I'm still working to feel even better."
Golson was among Pittsburgh's final 53-man roster cuts this year, but he holds no ill will toward the Steelers for moving on without him. In fact, he credits the Steelers for giving him a good foundation at the position. It was in Pittsburgh that he learned to play nickelback and dime, which made him a more attractive signing for the Bucs. At Ole Miss, where he was a consensus All-American, he lined up primarily on the outside.
"It wasn't tough -- it was a learning experience. I feel like everything that happened was supposed to happen," Golson said. "I feel like I got all the tools and keys I learned from (the Steelers) to make it in this league. ... It was a good place to be. They kind of gave me the key to being a good defensive back, how to carry yourself as an NFL player."
The Bucs called Golson about two months ago, but they had to wait a month until his injury healed before bringing him in Tuesday for a tryout. Tampa was the first and only team Golson tried out for after he was cut.
"They called pretty early. I just kind of said to myself, 'When I do get ready to try out, this is the first team I'm gonna try out for,'" Golson said. "A fresh start -- that's definitely a big thing for me. It was probably something I needed. I'm just going to make the most of it and see how it goes."