Long snapper Reid Ferguson retrieved; LB Baylon Spector, WR Justin Shorter hidden in IR
ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) — The Bills refined their 53-man roster on Wednesday by signing veteran offensive lineman Germain Ifedi and long snapper Reid Ferguson. General manager Brandon Beane also confirmed that the team plans to sign linebacker Christian Kirksey to the practice squad.
Rookie receiver Justin Shorter and linebacker Baylon Spector were placed on injured reserve to make room for Ifedi and Ferguson in the roster. Both are struggling with hamstring injuries and could return later this season. Buffalo brought back 14 players to its practice team and left one spot open for a quarterback, Beane said. The full training squad list is below.
Kirksey has played 94 games for Cleveland, Green Bay and Houston in NFL seasons. Last season, he had 124 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for the Texans. Kirksey was fired after struggling with a hamstring injury in pre-season. The medical examination is still pending. Kirksey started on the practice team and could move to the active roster to support the Bills’ unsettled center linebacker position once he is healthy and familiar with the defensive system. Kirksey knows Bills’ assistant Al Holcomb from his time with the Browns.
“It’s a veteran,” Beane said. “We have some people on the team who know him. We went after him a few years ago and he ended up going to Cleveland. … I feel like we’ve been after this guy a few times before.”
Since the Bills fired veteran linebacker AJ Klein and refused to let him back into the practice squad, Beane said Kirksey “comes in here, gets in our system.” I’m not sure — he’s going through the physical right now — where he is whether he is at full strength or not. Hope he passes the exam. And then we upgrade it in our system and we’ll see where it goes.”
Ifedi, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound lineman who was first-round selected in 2016, has started 83 games for the Seahawks and Bears. Ifedi was released by the Lions after pre-season. Buffalo’s strength in offensive tackle was weakened in the preseason with the retirement of Brandon Shell and the season-ending injury of Tommy Doyle. The Bills retained Ryan Van Demark and Alec Anderson, two tacklers with no NFL playing experience, to back up starters Dion Dawkins and Spencer Brown.
Beane said the Bills wanted Ifedi because of his combination of size, experience and draft pedigree.
“He’s just a big man,” Beane said. “He is long. And I saw that when he was beaten, it wasn’t an instant loss. It was a fight until the third or fourth second of the game against, oh boy, wiping his hands and getting right up to the quarterback and going at him. So it can be used in many ways. I’d say his position one is right tackle, but he can go there and play left. So he puts a man with veteran experience at our disposal.”
Both seventh-round draft picks released Tuesday by the Bills, cornerback Alex Austin and offensive lineman Nick Broeker, have been claimed by the Texans for waivers. Safety Zayne Anderson was claimed by the Packers.
Practice squad signings
- DT Eli Ankou
- WR Marcell Ateman
- CB Kyron Brown
- EN Cameron Cline
- DL Richard Gouraige
- CB Ja’Marcus Ingram
- WR Andy Isabella
- OL Kevin Jarvis
- RB Ty Johnson
- OL Greg Mancz
- WR Tyrell Razor
- WR Bryan Thompson
- DT Kendall Vickers
- TE Joel Wilson
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Born in western New York, he has covered the Bills, Sabers, Bandits, Bison, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in the area for publications such as The Associated Press, The Buffalo News and Niagara Gazette since 2005. Read more about his work here.