Buccaneers lose punter for rest of season

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay punter Dirk Johnson will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on injured reserve with a pulled hamstring.

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Reserve cornerback Torrie Cox also went on injured reserve Monday with a hip injury. Guard Arron Sears has been placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.

The Buccaneers are filling Cox's roster spot by promoting cornerback Brandon Anderson from the practice squad. Johnson's replacement likely will be signed before the team practices again Wednesday.

Sears has not played this season. He was reinstated to the team on Nov. 17 after sitting out offseason workouts and training camp for personal reasons.

The Bucs had a two-week exemption in which Sears did not count toward the 53-man roster. He can't practice the rest of the season, but will continue to work with strength coaches and trainers to get ready for 2010.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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