The Houston Texans cut starting linebacker Christian Kirksey Monday afternoon, and a case could definitely be made that he would be a good addition to the Buffalo Bills’ linebacker room. Having wrapped up their 2023 NFL preseason schedule last weekend, the MIKE position has the look of a group still fumbling to find the right solution.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network first reported the Texans’ intent to release Kirksey.
#Texans are releasing veteran LB Christian Kirksey, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 28, 2023
MLB Christian Kirksey notes:— Erik Turner (@ErikJTurner) August 28, 2023
*Always setting the defense, communicating - LEADER
*Makes a lot of plays in the middle of the field *Can hypothetically "play off of" DTs when they penetrate/attack
*Can make plays at or behind the LOS vs run if given the green light (Run… pic.twitter.com/dAu3w2JeWC
The Buffalo Bills lost MIKE linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to free agency this spring and haven’t truly found someone to reasonably fill his shoes. While they drafted Dorian Williams, head coach Sean McDermott seems intent on keeping the rookie from Tulane sitting on the outside behind All-Pro Matt Milano.
Kirksey, 30, who visited Buffalo for a tryout with the Bills in March of 2020, has spent the past two season in Houston where he started 29 games. After being named a team captain last season, Kirksey put up some nice numbers that included 124 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions.
Kirksey had some good numbers in his early career as well. The linebacker, who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft, recorded 283 solo tackles during his first five years in the NFL. He also had 11.5 sacks during that time.
It’s possible that a series of injuries that hampered Kirksey in 2018 and kept him out of all but two games in 2019, are what caused the Browns to release him prior to the 2020 season. A hamstring and ankle injury hobbled the linebacker in 2018 and a pectoral injury sidelined him the following year.
The Bills were interested enough in 2020 while they still had both Milano and Edmunds to take a look. Now with Edmunds gone (and with no clear cut replacement) and with recent injuries to both Terrell Bernard (who did return to practice late last week) and Baylon Spector — both of whom were listed as possible candidates for the team’s MIKE position — it might be time for Buffalo to take another look at Kirksey.