Bailey (ankle) was waived by the Buccaneers on Monday, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.
Bailey joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Michigan in 2018. He had an impressive preseason before suffering an ankle injury and landing on injured reserve for his entire rookie campaign, and now parts ways with the team.
Bailey was having a strong preseason for Tampa Bay before slipping on wet turf and sustaining a significant ankle injury minutes prior to the Buccaneers' third preseason tilt. The undrafted Eastern Michigan product consequently spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve in recovery. However, the timing of Bailey's incident at least allowed him a head start on his rehab process, and it seems the receiver could be back in the swing of things well before training camp opens up this summer. With DeSean Jackson's (Achilles) future with the Bucs on uncertain grounds and Adam Humphries scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, there should be plenty of opportunities for Bailey to make a name for himself in Tampa Bay this offseason.
Bailey made a decent case for a 53-man roster spot before the ankle issue surfaced, but it now appears he will sit out the 2018 campaign after undergoing surgery Saturday, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. If he remains on the list all season, Bailey would get his next chance to state his case in 2019.
Bailey has had a solid preseason with five receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown through the first two contests. He also rounded out his value with special teams duties. The third preseason game is the final dress rehearsal for starters, so sitting out may hurt Bailey's chances to secure a spot on the 53-man roster.
The fourth-quarter touchdown was the latest taste of success for the 24-year-old, who's consistently been impressing in his bid for a spot on the latter half of the wide receiver depth chart. Bailey has not only stood out in multiple camp practices, but he also paced Bucs pass catchers in the preseason opener against the Dolphins with four receptions for 52 yards. Naturally, the last one or two receivers kept on the 53-man roster will have to pull double duty on special teams, and to that end, Bailey logged eight snaps on return units Saturday in addition 20 offensive plays.
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|