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Cole Beasley returning to the Bills as a practice squad member

The Bills bring back another of their former receivers as they prepare for a late-season playoff push

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Update, 12/13/2022, 10:25 a.m. EST: The Bills have now confirmed the addition of Beasley to the practice squad, noting that second-year pro Marquez Stevenson was released from it to make room for him. Additionally, the Bills swapped out players at the back end of their defensive tackle rotation, releasing rookie C.J. Brewer and re-signing Brandin Bryant to the active roster.

Update, 12/13/2022, 8:10 a.m. EST: Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that Cole Beasley is expected to be signed to the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, with the expectation that he’ll be a part of the Bills’ game day roster in short order.

Original story: Rumors began swirling late Monday night that veteran wide receiver Cole Beasley had been spotted in Buffalo. Multiple reputable outlets, including WIVB (Louie Del Rio), NYUP, and WGR 550 (Jeremy White), have gone on record saying they’d heard the same as of Tuesday morning.

The Buffalo Bills have been in the market for help at wide receiver for weeks now. The team signed another of their former receivers, John Brown, to the practice squad on November 26, and he has been called up to play on game day each of the past two weeks. He is only eligible to be called up to play one more time this season as a member of the practice squad. Buffalo also recently hosted free-agent wideout Odell Beckham, Jr. on a visit. Beckham is working his way back from a February ACL tear, and may not be able to play right away.

Buffalo typically works out unsigned free agents early in the week.

Beasley, 33, spent three seasons with the Bills from 2019-21, logging 231 receptions for 2,438 yards and 11 touchdowns in that time frame. He retired from football back in early October after a brief stint as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, appearing in only two games.

The Bills have struggled to find a reliable, high-volume passing target to complement top receiver Stefon Diggs this season. Diggs has 94 receptions through 13 games, with Gabe Davis and Isaiah McKenzie tied for second on the team with just 38 receptions. In his three seasons with the Bills, Beasley caught 67, 82, and 82 balls, and was a zone-beating security blanket for quarterback Josh Allen. If Beasley is in game shape, and if he is in fact in town for a workout and a potential signing, it’s conceivable that the Bills would look to play him right away.