Anderson did not log any carries and failed to bring in his only target during the Buccaneers' 30-28 preseason loss to the Steelers on Friday.
Anderson saw two of his primary competitors for a roster spot, Andre Ellington and Dare Ogunbowale, log a total of 14 touches in the running game while he was shut out altogether. The undrafted rookie is thought to be in an uphill battle to stick on the final 53, but he'll likely get much more of an opportunity to show what he can do in coming exhibitions.
Anderson (Achilles) returned to practice Wednesday, increasing his chances of playing in the Buccaneers' preseason opener versus the Steelers on Friday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
Coach Bruce Arians confirmed that Anderson had been dealing with some Achilles tendinitis, but the undrafted rookie is apparently over the issue at this point. A prompt return to practice was particularly important for Anderson, who already faces a relatively steep path to earning a roster spot. He currently slots in fourth on the depth chart at running back alongside Dare Ogunbowale.
Anderson is one of five running backs currently remaining on the Buccaneers' roster following last Friday's release of Shaun Wilson, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
The undrafted free agent from North Dakota State has a similar toolbox to the departed Wilson, in the sense that he's able to utilize above-average speed to get outside quickly and also has a proven track record as both a receiver and returner, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. Moreover, at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, Anderson is stouter than the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Wilson, with his solid size rendering him an effective between-the-tackles runner in college. Anderson compiled nearly 1,400 yards from scrimmage during his junior season before sharing carries in his senior year, and although a hamstring injury kept him from accepting a Senior Bowl invite, he impressed with both his speed (4.58 40-yard dash) and power (22 reps of 225 lbs) at his pro day. He projects to battle Dare Ogunbowale and Andre Ellington for a spot on the latter portion of the running back depth chart this summer.
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