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Buffalo Bills activate Ike Boettger to active roster

Buffalo’s 2021 starting left guard is eligible to play a year after going down with an Achilles injury

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills guard Ike Boettger has been added to the team’s 53-man roster, activated from the Reserve/PUP list, the team announced on Monday. To make room for Boettger on the roster, the team released reserve defensive tackle Brandin Bryant.

Boettger, 28, was Buffalo’s starting left guard for much of the 2021 regular season, but tore his Achilles tendon in the Bills’ Week 16 road win over the New England Patriots last December 26. He will now be eligible to return to game action nearly a year to the day later, when the Bills take on the Chicago Bears this coming weekend, on December 24, in Week 16 action.

The timing might work out well for the Bills — assuming that Boettger is ready to play, and does not need a ramp-up period to get his legs under him like cornerback Tre’Davious White did. The Bills are monitoring the status of center Mitch Morse (concussion protocol) this week, after the veteran pivot sustained the sixth concussion in his eight-year career during Saturday night’s playoff-clinching win over the Miami Dolphins. Head coach Sean McDermott told reporters on Sunday that Morse is in the league’s concussion protocol.

Morse’s usual replacement, Ryan Bates — who is the team’s starting right guard — missed the Miami game with an ankle injury. Buffalo ended that game with Greg Van Roten at center and swing tackle David Quessenberry at right guard.

Buffalo signed Boettger to a one-year deal last offseason, which allowed him the opportunity to rehab under contract. He started 10 games on Buffalo’s offensive line last season before the injury; the Bills designated Boettger for a return to practice on November 28, and now he’s back on the active roster.