The Buffalo Bills made another roster move ahead of their matchup with the New England Patriots, elevating defensive lineman Kendal Vickers from the practice squad. While it’s not known whether he’ll be active for the game or not, Vickers would give the Bills four natural defensive tackles if he suits up for the game.
Vickers, 28, has already played in one game for the Bills this season, as his first elevation from the practice squad came for the team’s 25-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Vickers was expected to provide some extra reinforcement in that game, but thanks to injuries, he ended up playing more defensive snaps (46, or 52% of the team’s total that day) than any defensive lineman other than Ed Oliver or A.J. Epenesa. Vickers registered two tackles in that game.
With DaQuan Jones already on Injured Reserve thanks to the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in that Jacksonville game and Ed Oliver ruled out for this week with a toe injury, the Bills were already thin at defensive tackle. Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle Jr., and Poona Ford are the only defensive tackles on the 53-man roster, and while Epenesa and Greg Rousseau have experience playing inside in pass-rush situations, the Bills likely don’t want to enter a game thinner than they need to be at a position where they are already thin.
Vickers has some inside-outside versatility himself, as he can play defensive end (and did a bit out of necessity against the Jaguars). He originally entered the league in 2018 as an undrafted free agent signing of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vickers didn’t appear in his first NFL game until the 2020 season with the Las Vegas Raiders, the team he was with through the 2022 season. He totaled 20 tackles and two sacks over the course of 25 games with the Raiders.
Vickers originally joined the Bills in December 2022 when he signed to Buffalo’s practice squad after he was waived by Las Vegas. Vickers can be elevated one more time before Buffalo would have to make him a member of the 53-man roster.