Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed tight end Luke Stocker on injured reserve Monday due to a hip problem that sidelined him for the team's Week 3 loss at New England.
Stocker had started the Buccaneers' first two contests before being held out of Sunday's 23-3 setback to the Patriots, though he did not record a catch in either of those games. The 2011 fourth-round pick came up with 16 receptions totaling 165 yards and one touchdown while starting 11 times the previous season.
The move clears an open roster spot for running back/kick returner Jeff Demps, who had been on the exempt list after being away from the Buccaneers for all of training camp to concentrate on his track career.
Demps participated in the 2012 London Olympics and won a silver medal as part of the United States' 4 x 100 meter relay team. The former University of Florida standout had been acquired by the Bucs from New England in April as part of the trade that sent running back LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots.
The 23-year-old Demps spent the entire 2012 season on New England's injured reserve list.