Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Eli Ankou has returned to practice Friday, August 12, following a calf injury that landed him on the team’s active/PUP list the end of July. The Bills tweeted the news Friday afternoon, which is good news for Ankou who’s battling to remain in Buffalo. His return prior to the release of the team’s final 53-man roster means Ankou wouldn’t be forced to miss the team’s first four games should he make the team.
Signed by the team during the 2021 offseason, the well-traveled Ankou is part of a very crowded defensive tackle group—one that includes Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, a returning Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, Brandin Bryant, Prince Emili, and C.J. Brewer. Plus, there’s also Justin Zimmer, who the team may try to bring back once healthy and cleared to play.
With a wealth of talent ahead of him, it’s imperative for Ankou to be on the field throughout the remainder of the preseason. He spent 2021 on Buffalo’s practice squad and he has the benefit of familiarity within the current defensive system, but he’s clearly in a huge battle to simply make the team, including the practice squad.
It remains to be seen if Ankou will suit up for the Bills’ preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts this Saturday. Should he be held out, Ankou’s return to the practice field seems has improved the chance that he’ll be ready to play in Week 2’s preseason scrimmage against the Denver Broncos.