The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially placed rookie running back Mike James on Injured Reserve and have signed running back Michael Hill, the team announced late Wednesday morning.
James fractured his left ankle early in Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins. He becomes the fourth running back for Tampa Bay to go on Injured Reserve.
Last week starting running back Doug Martin was placed on IR with a torn labrum along with running back/kick returner Jeff Demps, who suffered a groin injury.
In August, Michael Smith was placed on IR with torn ligaments in his foot.
A 5-foot-10, 210-pound undrafted free agent out of Missouri Western State, Hill was signed off Green Bay’s practice squad. He began the 2013 season on San Diego’s practice squad before the Packers signed him to the active roster September 30, where he was active for two games.
In the fourth preseason game with the Chargers, he rushed for 37 yards on 11 carries and finished his preseason with 50 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Hill led the NCAA with 2,168 rushing yards his senior year, earning first-team AP Little All-America honors. He finished his college career with 4,969 rushing yards on 828 carries and 35 touchdowns, becoming the Griffons’ all-time leading rusher.
He joins Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey, who are expected to split carries in James’ absence.