The Buffalo Bills added tight end Shawn Nelson to the active roster on Monday. Nelson missed the first four games of the season on a league-mandated suspension, and was inactive in Week 5 thanks to a roster exemption.
In adding Nelson to the active roster, the Bills needed to free up a roster spot. Veteran outside linebacker Chris Ellis drew the short straw.
Ellis started at the Jack (weak-side) linebacker position in Week 1 against Miami, picking up a sack and five tackles in Buffalo's only strong defensive showing on the season. When veteran Reggie Torbor returned to the lineup in Week 2, Ellis returned to a part-time role, seeing most of his action on special teams in the past four weeks. He muffed a short kickoff in a Week 4 loss, and did not see much playing time defensively at all.
Buffalo has been working in rookies Arthur Moats and Antonio Coleman more frequently at outside linebacker of late, and with Chris Kelsay the only outside 'backer seeing significant playing time, it apparently made Ellis - the Bills' third-round draft pick in 2008 - expendable. In cutting Ellis, the Bills are ridding themselves of one-sixth of their sack production on the 2010 season.
For those keeping track, the Bills now only have four of ten 2008 draft picks remaining on the roster - Leodis McKelvin, Reggie Corner, Demetrius Bell and Steve Johnson.