PRO FOOTBALL

BUC BITS BEFORE THE PATS

BUC BITS
TE Cameron Brate and TE O.J. Howard each had at least 60 receiving yards and one touchdown against the Giants, becoming the first pair of tight end teammates to reach those numbers in the same game since Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright did so for New England in 2014 (vs. Chicago, 10/26/14).

Tampa Bay recorded over 300 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing against the New York Giants. With at least 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, the team would have consecutive games reaching those numbers for only the second time in franchise history (also: 10/14/12 vs. Kansas City-10/21/12 vs. New Orleans).

THIS WEEK
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that the team has activated running back Doug Martin from the Reserve/Suspended list and waived tight end Alan Cross.

Buccaneers later announced that the team has re-signed tight end Alan Cross to the practice squad and released Russell Hansbrough from the practice squad. Cross (6-1, 235) has played in three games, with one start, for Tampa Bay this season, catching two passes for 11 yards.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that the team has promoted safety Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad to the active roster and released defensive end Jacquies Smith. Johnson (6-0, 209) originally joined the Buccaneers as a college free agent last offseason and spent the season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad. A native of Cary, North Carolina, he spent this past offseason and preseason with the Buccaneers and has been on the team’s practice squad for the first three weeks of the season. Johnson, who played collegiately at South Carolina, wears No. 39 for Tampa Bay.

QUOTABLES: RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
On if he is excited to be back…
“Oh yeah, definitely. We’ve got the Patriots coming up and I can’t wait to get out there and play for these guys. It’s been a while. It was a long break and now I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

On how much of an asset he can be to the Buccaneers as he gets back out on the field…
“I’m going to go out there and just do the best that I can do. I’ll be as ready as I can be and just play for these guys and just work hard like I know I can.”

On what it means about the Buccaneers organization that they stuck with him and brought him back…
“It says a lot. I’m very grateful [with] everything that has gone on and it feels good that they’re sticking by my side. I just want to go out there and play hard and do what I know I can do.”

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-1) VS. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-2)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 8:25 P.M. ET

New England leads the series 6-2, having won the last three meetings. The Patriots won the last matchup, 23-3, in 2013 in Foxboro. In 2009, New England recorded a 35-7 vicotry as the two teams faced off in London, the Buc- caneers’ rst time playing out of the country in the regular season.