Tue, 09 Mar 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Bucs elevated S Javon Hagan and G Ted Larsen from the practice squad for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Green Bay, giving the team two more players it can choose to keep active for the contest Scott Smith

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elevated rookie safety Javon Hagan and veteran guard Ted Larsen from their practice squad on Saturday, making both players eligible to play in Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Green Bay. Since the Buccaneers currently have no players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, they could only elevate a maximum of two players this weekend.

Hagan could be the rare player who plays in a postseason game before ever seeing any regular-season action. He joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio University in May and has been on the practice squad all season. Hagan was also elevated from the practice squad last week when safeties Jordan Whitehead and Andrew Adams were dealing with injuries, but those two were able to play and the rookie was named a game day inactive. This week, both Whitehead and fellow starter Antoine Winfield, Jr. are on the injury report, and Winfield is considered questionable to play after sustaining an ankle injury in practice.

Larsen is likely to be active for the game on Sunday. He was also elevated for the Divisional Playoff Game in New Orleans last weekend and he was made active for the game over recently-signed guard Earl Watford. Watford has since been released so Larsen is the Bucs' only current option as their backup interior lineman. Larsen has 88 career NFL starts and he stepped in at right guard in the Wild Card game at Washington when Alex Cappa suffered an ankle fracture. The Buccaneers then moved Aaron Stinnie into the starting right guard spot in New Orleans and he will hold that job again in Green Bay.

The option to elevate up to two players from the practice squad for each game is new in 2020 and not related to the roster rule revisions instituted this summer to help teams deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to those two options, teams can also elevate as many additional players as they currently have on the COVID list. In the playoffs, a player can be elevated an unlimited number of times. Hagan and Larsen will automatically revert to the Bucs' practice squad on Monday if the team remains alive in the playoffs.

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