Buffalo Bills cornerback and return specialist Leodis McKelvin will miss the team's remaining two games of the 2012 season with a groin injury that has hampered him in recent weeks. The team placed McKelvin on Injured Reserve on Thursday, filling his roster spot by re-signing veteran linebacker Kirk Morrison.
McKelvin began the season as the team's nickel cornerback, but was quickly demoted after a horrendous performance in Week 1. He'd eventually make it back into the lineup as a starter thanks to various injuries, and performed more consistently as the season wore on. His true value came as a return specialist, particularly on punts; he finishes the season with two touchdowns and an average of 18.7 yards per return on 23 totes.
We may very well have seen McKelvin for the last time in a Bills uniform, as well: the 2008 first-round pick (No. 11 overall) will be an unrestricted free agent this March, as his five-year rookie contract is set to expire then. Whether or not he's brought back will have a big impact not just on the team's depth at cornerback, but in the return game, as well.
Aaron Williams and Ron Brooks will see an increase in reps at cornerback with McKelvin out of the lineup. Brad Smith will become the team's primary kick returner, and they'll rotate punt returners, with Justin Rogers likely getting the most work.
Morrison, who spent much of the season with the Bills - albeit on the weekly inactive list - was brought back to boost the team's dwindling depth at linebacker. Arthur Moats was placed on IR earlier this week, and had any of the team's three starters gone down to injury, the Bills would have turned to special teams ace Chris White as a replacement. Now, Morrison will be the team's primary backup at linebacker for the last two weeks of the season.