In addition to signing nose tackle Eli Ankou, the Buffalo Bills have inked Nazair Jones, another defensive lineman. Jones signed a one-year contract with the Bills, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon. In an accompanying move, the Bills placed defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. on injured reserve. Cox suffered an Achilles injury during Bills minicamp, and underwent surgery to repair it.
Jones, 26, was a third-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6’5” 292-lb lineman entered the league out of the University of North Carolina. He appeared in 11 games as a rookie, rotating as a backup defensive lineman, and recorded 19 tackles, two sacks, and an interception. A high ankle sprain led him to be placed on injured reserve. In 2018, though he initially competed to start at defensive tackle, he was relegated to fourth on the depth chart by the start of the season. He only appeared in nine games, a healthy scratch at times, and notched seven total tackles.
Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury before 2019 even began, and was released ahead of the 2020 season. A tryout with the Chicago Bears didn’t bear any fruit, so it’s been two full years since he appeared in a game.
Jones doesn’t have great odds to make the 53-man roster, with the Bills already juggling a number of talented defensive linemen. But he has the length to two-gap or to flex between defensive end and defensive tackle, and those qualities could allow him to stick through training camp.