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Buffalo Bills elevate defensive tackle Eli Ankou from practice squad

The big defensive tackle has appeared in five games this year

Miami Dolphins Training Camp
There aren’t any pictures of Ankou in a Buffalo uniform, so this one seemed fitting
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Prior to the Buffalo Bills’ home game against the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced that it has once again elevated defensive tackle Eli Ankou from the practice squad to the active roster.

Ankou, a 27-year-old defensive lineman born in Ontario, Canada, is playing on his sixth different team since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s played in four games with Buffalo this year, appearing on a total of 75 defensive snaps in those contests. He has six total tackles, and he notched a sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 12.

As a one-tech defensive tackle, Ankou has primarily played in place of Star Lotulelei, who has missed time this year due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis as well as a toe injury. Lotulelei missed practice time this week due to an undisclosed personal issue. While Ankou’s elevation could be related to Lotulelei, it may have nothing to do with it at all.

Ed Oliver is listed as questionable this week due to an ankle injury, so it’s possible that Ankou could slot in as his replacement on the roster if he can’t suit up for the game. It’s also possible that Ankou could be replacing Vernon Butler, who missed some time this week due to illness. While Butler isn’t injured, he’s just been ineffective, with only 11 tackles on 266 snaps this year.

Of course, Ankou’s elevation could also be precautionary, as head coach Sean McDermott might just want options given the uncertainty at the position. We’ll find out at 11:30 Sunday morning when the team releases its inactive list.