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Bills LB Christian Kirksey retires, A.J. Klein signed back to practice squad

Perhaps Kirksey didn’t see a path to playing time with how well Terrel Bernard has played?

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

After signing with the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad at the end of August, Christian Kirksey has informed the team that he will be retiring — ending all hope of him being called up to the active roster and making an appearance in a Bills jersey this year. He will end his nine-year career with 778 tackles, 16.5 sacks and seven interceptions.

With a practice squad spot now available, the Bills re-signed A.J. Klein, a familiar face, after cutting him following the preseason due to the linebacker room depth. The Carolina Panthers-to-Bills pipeline still stands strong, of course as head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane continue to show their love for former Panthers players.

Bills fans were excited to see what Kirksey could do at middle linebacker this season, but Terrel Bernard has played well through two games and there’s a very good chance Kirksey didn’t see a path to playing time, so he decided to retire. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t affect Buffalo all too much because it’s the practice squad.

One way or another, Klein was going to find his way back to the team in some capacity. After spending two seasons with Buffalo from 2020-21, he floated around teams in 2022 but eventually found himself back with Buffalo again in November, where he started in place of Tremaine Edmunds on Thanksgiving and performed quite well. Klein’s return provides the linebacker room with yet another player familiar with Buffalo’s defensive system, now run by McDermott.