James spent the previous three seasons on and off the Bucs' active roster, finishing his time in Tampa Bay with 83 rushes for 351 yards. He now joins a stable of competent runners in Detroit and will likely have trouble making the team.
The Buccaneers waived
Added as depth during a season in which Tampa Bay lost Doug Martin, Charles Sims (knee), and Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) for varying stretches, James topped out at 23 snaps among his three appearances with the team. Overall, James managed four rushes for 19 yards and four catches (on four targets) for 22 yards. If he clears waivers, the Bucs will likely stash the running back on their practice squad.
James carried twice for seven yards and secured his only target for five yards in Sunday's 36-10 victory over the Bears.
The fourth-year back was relegated to a third-string role with Doug Martin's return from a hamstring injury and Peyton Barber's extended involvement. James is still in the process of fully reacclimating to the offense he spent this past summer learning, but could have a steady, albeit considerably limited role until Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) is ready for a return.
James has picked the Bucs offense back up quickly and will be relied on going forward according to offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
James was in on 37 snaps (20 offense, 17 special teams) in the Week 9 loss to the Falcons, despite having just signed that previous Monday. The fourth-year back had spent the entirety of preseason with the Bucs, so he already had a solid foundation of the offense to work with. With Doug Martin (hamstring) having returned to practice Wednesday but Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) looking unlikely to play in Week 10, James figures to have a complementary role alongside Peyton Barber at minimum, and a considerably more extensive opportunity if Martin is unable to go.
James, who'd amassed 370 yards of total offense for the Bucs from 2013-14, was ready to open the regular season as the team's third back behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims before suffering a lower-body injury that James still just vaguely describes as a "tweak" to his leg. He was consequently waived/injured and eventually latched on to the Lions' practice squad after recovering. However, once the mandatory waiting period for a player to re-sign with a team following an injury settlement had passed, the desperate Bucs came calling Nov. 1. His conditioning was sufficient to allow him to play 20 snaps on offense and 17 on special teams in Thursday's 43-28 loss to the Falcons, and his role could certainly expand in Week 10 if neither Doug Martin (hamstring) nor Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) can return to action. If so, the fourth-year veteran feels ready for the call. "You can't really simulate practice and games -- it's really hard to," James said. "But I think I was in good enough shape to play the other night. I think I played fairly well when it came down to my conditioning, so I was okay with that."
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8||3||60||295||4.9||24||0||2||14|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11||0||19||37||1.9||9||0||0||4|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||0||4||19||4.8||9||0||0||1|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8||3||10||43||4.3||20||0||1||0||1|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11||0||1||-5||-5.0||-5||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||0||4||22||5.5||6||0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8||3||1||1||100.0||2||2.00||2||1||0||0/0||0||0||118.8|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|