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TMZ: NFL Investigating Buccaneers' Rakeem Nunez-Roches After Animal Abandonment

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (56) during an NFL football training camp practice Saturday, July 27, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are investigating allegations defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches abandoned his dog on the side of a busy road earlier this month.

According to TMZ Sports, a Florida animal rescue group said it found Nunez-Roches' Cane Corso pit bull, Jitterbug, 36 hours after she was abandoned.

Representatives of the group added Jitterbug was "tired, hungry and alone" and also missing some teeth.

The Buccaneers released the following statement regarding the situation: "We are aware of the issue regarding Rakeem Nunez-Roches and are in the process of gathering additional information. We will refrain from further comment until we have a better understanding of the situation."

The animal rescue group that found Jitterbug told TMZ Sports the dog has been pre-adopted after Nunez-Roches allegedly said he would pick up the dog but failed to do so.

Nunez-Roches allegedly told the shelter Jitterbug was checked into that he would pick her up Dec. 15, but the Buccaneers had an away game against the Detroit Lions that day, and Nunez-Roches never arrived to claim his dog.

The 26-year-old Nunez-Roches just completed his second season as a member of the Bucs. He appeared in all 16 games for just the second time in his career, registering 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery.

Nunez-Roches was originally selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL draft out of Southern Mississippi. He spent three seasons in KC before getting claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts in May 2018 and then signing with the Bucs in October 2018.

Nunez-Roches is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.