Buccaneers shake up return game

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up on return man Marcus Thigpen.

The team waived Thigpen on Tuesday and made a couple moves at tight end, where injuries are a concern. Thigpen had struggled since taking over the job from Trindon Holliday.

The Bucs didn’t add a return man in their roster moves, so it appears likely they’ll turn to in-house candidates. Receiver Louis Murphy and running back Bobby Rainey can do punt returns. Those two also could be candidates along with running back Mike James for kickoff returns.

The moves at tight end came after all three tight ends were injured in Sunday’s loss to Chicago. The Bucs promoted tight end Cameron Brate from the practice squad and signed tight end D.J. Williams.

It’s unclear how serious the injuries are to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker, but the moves indicate the Bucs expect at least some of their tight ends to be out for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.

The Bucs also made some moves on their practice squad, signing linebacker Denicos Allen, tight end Taylor Sloat and fullback Evan Rodriguez while releasing tight end Ted Bolser and cornerback Quinton Pointer.