Huff, who was signed to a two-year extension by the Bucs shortly after arriving in Tampa last season, is getting reps as a kickoff returner in OTAs, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
The mercurial receiver tallied just three catches for 41 yards over three games with the Bucs in 2016 after an in-season release by the Eagles, but given his upside, the team wants to try and maximize his impressive skill set. Huff's speed has served him well on special teams in the past, with the 25-year-old having compiled 1,237 yards and two touchdowns on 48 kickoff returns over 37 career games. Considering the receiver depth chart received a substantial talent infusion during the offseason, Huff's most consistent playing time in 2017 could come on special teams, where he would be a potential fantasy asset in leagues that factor in return yards and touchdowns.
Huff accepted a conditional plea on November 2016 unlawful possession of weapons charges, meaning that he will not face any jail time for the infraction, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
As per his attorney Andrew Smith, the 25-year-old will be subject to six months' probation and will have the charges expunged from his record as long as he successfully complies. The Nov. 1, 2016 incident, which also involved DUI and marijuana possession charges, unfolded during a traffic stop in New Jersey while Huff was still with the Eagles. It led to his release just two days later, which paved the way for his signing by the Bucs on Nov. 7. Huff saw action in three games in Tampa, totaling three receptions for 41 yards and adding 72 yards on six kickoff returns. The Oregon product does have 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns on his resume from his time in Philadelphia, so the Bucs are looking forward to seeing what he can do with a full offseason, training camp and preseason under coach Dirk Koetter's offensive system. Huff has recently worked out with Jameis Winston and several other teammates in Houston and was present for the start of the team's OTAs on Monday, but it remains to be seen how the NFL may weigh in with respect to disciplinary action for the incident.
Huff's 2016 season wasn't dull by any stretch, with the third-year receiver opening the season as a starter in Philadelphia, picking up DUI, drug possession and weapons charges, getting subsequently released by the Eagles, and then latching on with the Bucs and eventually making his way onto the active roster. The University of Oregon product had shown more than enough playmaking ability in his two-plus seasons with the Eagles, during which he'd notched 48 receptions on 75 targets for 482 yards and four touchdowns in 34 games, while also compiling 1,165 yards and touchdowns of 107 and 98 yards on 42 punt returns. Huff was promoted to the Bucs' active roster on Dec. 6 after a near month-long stay on the practice squad and was also signed to a two-year contract extension on the same day, ensuring that he'll have a chance to continue developing his skills in Tampa for the foreseeable future. Blessed with excellent speed and a diverse skill set, Huff is a fantasy prospect with some upside heading into the offseason, given the team's need to find multiple viable options in the passing game alongside Mike Evans. Huff's special teams acumen gives an additional boost to his potential value in formats that take return yards and touchdowns into account.
Huff gathered in two of three targets for 24 yards in Saturday's 31-24 loss to the Saints. He also gained 17 yards on two kickoff returns.
The 25-year-old receiver enjoyed his first multi-catch game in a Bucs uniform, as he continues to get further acclimated to the team's offense. The speedy Huff also continues to slot in at kick returner, although his production in that area was definitively limited Saturday. Having made some modest inroads with his new club, he'll look to finish the season with some positive momentum in Week 17 versus the Panthers.
Huff was not targeted in the passing game in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Cowboys, but he did total 55 yards on three kickoff returns.
After seeing two targets in his Bucs debut in Week 14 but not netting any yardage on his one kick return, Huff's script was flipped Sunday night. He saw Freddie Martino and Russell Shepard gobble up the backup receiver snaps, but he was able to make a modest impact on special teams, with a long gain of 26 yards on his trio of runbacks. The third-year receiver figures to retain the kick returner job over the final two games, with the possibility of additional work at receiver also very much in play.
|P1||8/11/17||@ CIN||7:30 pm|
|P2||8/17/17||@ JAC||8:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||3||41||13.7||17||0||0||0||2|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||1||5||5.0||5||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||6||72||12.0||26||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|