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Bills vs Ravens: Buffalo elevate RB Antonio Williams, CB Dane Jackson to active roster

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills have elevated running back Antonio Williams and cornerback Dane Jackson to the active roster prior to their Divisional Round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

An undrafted rookie who was on and off Buffalo’s roster all offseason, Williams burst onto the scene in Week 17, scoring two touchdowns on 12 rushes for 63 yards. He added a 20-yard catch-and-run to his rookie debut.

Williams is on the roster because Zack Moss injured his ankle last week, forcing him to miss the rest of the offseason. Devonta Freeman was signed to the practice squad this week but was only able to practice a couple times. Head coach Sean McDermott has said that T.J. Yeldon will step into Moss’s role this week, so Williams could still be placed on the inactive list, but Buffalo wanted to have four running backs available even if only three will ultimately dress. Taiwan Jones will be the third running back and special teams stalwart.

Jackson has played well in his limited action this year after being a seventh-round selection in the draft. They clearly like him, as they’ve used him in five games this season with two starts despite ping-ponging back and forth to the practice squad. He has a fumble recovery, interception, and five passes defended to go along with his 15 tackles.

It’s less likely Jackson will make his way onto the active roster. None of the Bills’ cornerbacks were on the injury report this week so it’s unclear why Jackson got the nod. But with defensive end Daryl Johnson the only played questionable, the Bills are very healthy heading into Saturday’s game.

In the playoffs, practice squad players get unlimited call-ups to the active roster, so there is no reason not to elevate a pair of players each week. These practice squads elevations were part of the rule changes concerning COVID-19, expanding team’s rosters in order to manage a player testing positive.