In a somewhat surprising move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are waiving wide receiver and kick returner Jaydon Mickens, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Monday afternoon.
A third-year pro out of the University of Washington, Mickens appeared in nine games this season for the Bucs mostly returning kicks. Mickens returned 12 kickoffs for 289 yards while on punt duty, he returned 15 punts for 99 yards. As a receiver, Mickens caught seven receptions for 58 yards, including five catches vs. the New York Giants in Week 8.
Replacing Mickens on the active roster will be veteran return Kenjon Barner, Greg Auman of The Athletic reported. Barner has spent time on the Bucs' practice squad throughout the season but has already been promoted three different times.
The Buccaneers officially announced both roster changes Monday after 4 p.m.
In three games for Tampa Bay, Barner has returned two kickoffs for 57 yards and three punts for 19 yards. This is Barner's 7th year in the NFL, having spent time in Atlanta, Carolina, and Philadelphia over the years.
As for Mickens, he had previously spent two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Week 9 of the 2017 season, Mickens returned a punt for a 63 yard-touchdown and earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In 2018 however, Mickens suffered a fractured ankle.
Mickens originally signed with the Buccaneers practice squad in December of 2019. Over the summer, Tampa Bay waived him but he soon returned to the team's practice squad this past August.
Coming off of a bye week, the Bucs are set to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. inside Raymond James Stadium.