“I’ll be ready when they need me,” the third-year wide receiver said last week.
Butler’s turn came Tuesday, when he also was added to the 53-man roster. To clear a roster spot, rookie wide receiver
The club also signed rookie defensive tackle Pep Levingston off its practice squad. Defensive tackle Al Woods was released to clear a spot for Levingston, a seventh-round selection in April’s NFL Draft. Woods had been claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on September 4 and played in two games.
The return of Butler, a third-round pick in the 2009 draft, brings a splash of speed to the passing game. He also provides some experience after starting eight games and catching 36 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns last season. That was before having his leg so severely broken in the Week 14 game against the 49ers in San Francisco that Butler needed surgery to place a steel rod in his right leg. Butler also had 15 catches during his rookie season.
Like Butler, Morrah (toe surgery) and Lewis (knee surgery) began the season on PUP. Morrah was added to the roster for the Week 7 game against the Browns in Cleveland. Lewis joined the 53-man roster the following week for the game against the Bengals at CenturyLink Field. Those moves were necessitated by other injuries, as Morrah was needed because starting tight end
All three PUP players had a three-week window to practice before the team had to make a move, and that window was set to expire for Butler today.
What his role will be for Sunday’s home game against the Baltimore Ravens remains to be seen, but Butler already has made a statement by returning from such a serious injury.