Buccaneers reportedly work out former Steelers receiver

Buccaneers reportedly work out former Steelers receiver

Eli Rogers worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported. Tampa Bay is reportedly in the market for a new receiver/punt returner, with ESPN’s Jenna Laine reporting that the Buccaneers are going to part ways with receiver Bobo Wilson, who muffed a punt during Tampa Bay’s Week 6 loss in London to the Carolina Panthers

Rogers, an undrafted rookie out of Louisville in 2015, spent his rookie season on the practice squad before making Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster in 2016. With Martavis Bryant suspended for the entire season, Rogers emerged as the Steelers No. 2 receiver that season, with his 48 catches and 594 receiving yards finishing second among Pittsburgh’s receivers. His play helped the Steelers win nine straight games while advancing to the AFC Championship Game. 

With Bryant’s return the following season, along with the emergence of rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, Rogers’ saw a major dip in production, catching just half of his 36 targets for 149 yards and a touchdown. He would miss the majority of the 2018 season after sustaining a significant knee injury during January’s divisional-round playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017.

Rogers’ solid performance upon coming back from his injury during the final three games of the 2018 season led to the Steelers offering him a new, two-year contract. Rogers, speaking to Steelers.com, was ecstatic after inking his new deal. 

“Oh yeah, I’m ready to go,” Rogers said back in March. “[I’m] Vegan, very healthy, mentally healthy. My body feels great and I’m ready to put some real work in this offseason to lay a great foundation out here this season.”

Rogers was not able to solidify his spot on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster, however, with the Steelers instead going with veteran wideouts Ryan Switzer and Donte Moncrief. Switzer and Moncrief have combined to catch just 12 passes for 45 yards through six games. 

The Buccaneers are currently seventh in the NFL in passing yards per game and fourth in touchdown passes. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, after a solid start to the season, had a rough outing last Sunday, committing six turnovers that included five interceptions in the Buccaneers’ loss to the Panthers. 

Winston’s top receivers thus far have been Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Godwin, a third round pick in the 2017 draft, leads the Buccaneers 43 catches for 662 yards and six touchdowns. Evans, a two time Pro Bowl selection, has 27 catches for 464 yards and four touchdowns. 

Tampa Bay, 2-4 through six games, have a bye this weekend before heading out on the road to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 8. 

Local & International News Jonathan Cartu

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