For the second straight week, the Buffalo Bills have elevated linebacker Deon Lacey from the team’s practice squad to be available on game day. The move isn’t likely an indicator of the status of Matt Milano or Tremaine Edmunds, but instead a replacement option for Del’Shawn Phillips, who is a key special teams contributor. Lacey took 20 special teams snaps last Sunday; 67% of Buffalo’s total.
Lacey was just added to the practice squad last week but spent most of 2017 and 2018 with the Bills before begin cut at the end of the 2019 offseason. He then spent the 2019 season with Miami. He had appeared in 48 straight regular season games before missing Week 1 as a free agent.
Because he wasn’t signed to the active roster, Lacey won’t be subject to waivers on Tuesday and will revert to the practice squad. He will not be eligible for more call-ups, however, as teams are only allowed to use the option twice this season. If they want to use him again, he’ll need to be signed to the active roster.
Teams are allowed to elevate up to two players from the practice squad to the game day roster in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding rosters in this way protects against late-week roster decisions and allows players to be in-house and receive the necessary COVID-19 testing to play in the game. Buffalo only needed one practice squad player this week despite an extensive injury report is a good sign those guys will play.