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Buffalo Bills 2023 roster moves: Shorter, Spector to IR; Ferguson, Ifedi sign

LS Reid Ferguson re-joins the Bills; OT Germain Ifedi signs as a free agent; WR Justin Shorter and LB Baylon Spector head to in-season IR

NFL: JAN 02 Bills at Bengals Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It turns out the Buffalo Bills weren’t done making decisions about their 53-man roster, only a day removed from announcing the initial group of players. There had been speculation that wide receiver Justin Shorter and linebacker Baylon Spector were heading to in-season Injured Reserve (IR), but Tuesday’s moves confirmed it as news.

In placing Shorter and Spector on IR, the team had two open roster spots, which they quickly filled. Long snapper Reid Ferguson has returned to One Bills Drive, while offensive tackle Germain Ifedi makes his debut with the Bills, being signed to the active roster.

Ferguson’s return was never in doubt. They’ve exercised this loophole with him at cutdowns in the past. Ferguson’s contract was structured in such a way that the team didn’t get hit with a dead cap on release. As a vested NFL player, Ferguson isn’t subject to waivers. It’s essentially a handshake deal to benefit both sides.

Germain Ifedi approaches an offensive line group that recently lost veteran offensive tackle Brandon Shell to retirement. Ifedi will look to get up to speed quickly in an effort to help solidify the Bills’ depth at offensive tackle.

Placing both Shorter and Spector on IR now allows the team to bring them back to the active roster as soon as Week 5 of the regular season. Each are dealing with hamstring injuries, which often plagues teams as players begin ramping up intensity towards the regular season.

Injuries have hit the linebacker room, with Terrel Bernard working through his own hamstring issue that occurred early in training camp.

NFL teams are allowed to place eight players on IR “designated to return” during the season.