Note: this article used to be entitled "Bills Still Have Two Roster Spots Open." Thanks to an email from reader Greg, we're able to correct our lie-laced article from this morning. Many thanks, Greg, and apologies for the erroneous reporting.
The Buffalo Bills had been humming along at the NFL-maximum of 80 players on their active roster, but a spate of injuries has led to a flurry of roster activity over the past few days. The team placed rookies Marcus Easley and Danny Batten on IR, and also waived/injured Michael Matthews and John Destin. In turn, the Bills signed two tight ends - J.P. Foschi and Andrew George. They lost four and gained two, but here's why the Bills don't have two free roster spaces.
Because both Easley and Batten are unvested veterans, they still count against the active roster until next week's first cut-down (August 31). The Bills were essentially faced with a choice: expose Easley and Batten to waivers so that they could place them on IR after they cleared waivers so that those two roster spots were freed up, or place them on IR, eat the two roster spaces for a week, and only need to cut three players to get down to 75 next Tuesday. Obviously, the Bills chose the latter.
This also properly explains why the Bills waived both Destin and Matthews - they literally didn't have the roster space to sign Foschi and George, even though Easley and Batten were already on IR. For more explanation on the rules, see this release regarding Detroit's Jordon Dizon, or this regarding Chicago's Harvey Unga.