The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran receiver Cole Beasley to the practice squad with the expectation of promoting him to the active roster, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Beasley, 33, played for the Buffalo Bills for the past three seasons following seven years with the Dallas Cowboys. He was a serviceable receiver for Buffalo with 82 receptions in each of the past two seasons with five total touchdowns for 1,660 yards. The Bills released Beasley this offseason after allowing him to seek a trade in early March. He missed one game in 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19 as an unvaccinated player.
The Buccaneers desperately need receiver help this week after recent injuries to Chris Godwin and Julio Jones and the one-game suspension for Mike Evans after his role in the brawl with the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. With at least Evans and Godwin out for Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers, the Buccaneers were down to Scotty Miller, Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman. It's unclear if Jones will be healthy enough to suit up after his hamstring injury. Not quite the star lineup Tom Brady has come to expect in Tampa Bay.
Brady is statistically worse when Evans isn't on the field. His passer rating, completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and yards per attempt are all worse when Evans doesn't play, according to ESPN. The Buccaneers still won Week 2 against the Saints thanks to Perriman's late-game touchdown, but Tampa Bay certainly can't rely on its backups to keep the offense afloat against Aaron Rodgers and the stout Packers' defense.
Now, Beasley isn't a world-beater, but he fits the mold of the type of pass-catchers Brady's worked with in the past. He's reliable with a 74.9 percent catch rate and a healthy 10.1 yards per reception average over the past two seasons. Beasley won't magically transform the Buccaneers' offense back into its former self, but he could do enough to keep Brady and company competitive in Week 3.