For a second consecutive season, Kawika Mitchell's season has ended due to injury. The Buffalo Bills on Friday placed the veteran linebacker on Injured Reserve, signing free agent veteran Akin Ayodele to take his place on the active roster.
Mitchell had been penciled in as the primary backup to inside starters Paul Posluszny and Andra Davis. He injured his foot in practice this past Wednesday, and is now the sixth player to land on IR for Buffalo thus far this season. Signed to a five-year, $17.5 million deal in 2008, Mitchell appeared in all 16 games in his first full season with the Bills, but will enter the 2011 season having played just five games in the past two years. Due to make $2.75 million in each of the final two years of his deal, there's a very good chance that Mitchell has played his last down in a Bills uniform.
Mitchell's job responsibility now falls to Ayodele, a former Dolphin that has great familiarity with defensive coordinator George Edwards and his defensive scheme. Ayodele, 31, spent the past two seasons working with Edwards in Miami. He signed as a free agent with Denver this past March, but was surprisingly and abruptly released last weekend after starting at inside linebacker during the Broncos' first two preseason games. He registered 71 tackles and a forced fumble last season in Miami, but the free agent signing of Karlos Dansby made him expendable.
Chan Gailey will address the media early this afternoon after Friday's practice concludes; we should know then whether or not Ayodele will be available to play in Sunday's season-opener against his former team.