Bills practice squad transactions ⬇️— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) January 11, 2024
- Signed LB A.J. Klein to the practice squad & released DT Eli Ankou.
Klein, who will add depth at a roster position that has been hit hard this season. With Matt Milano still on the Injured Reserve (IR) list after a broken tibia in Week 5 and now his replacement, Tyrel Dodson, suffering a shoulder injury in Week 18 in Miami, Buffalo was dangerously thin at the linebacker position.
Dodson left last Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and was replaced by second-year linebacker Baylon Spector, who himself spent the early part of the season on the IR list as he worked through a hamstring injury. That only left the Bills with rookie Dorian Williams as a depth/rotational piece on the roster. While Dodson participated in Wednesday’s practice, it looks like Buffalo isn’t taking any chances of running out of linebackers when they face the run-heavy Pittsburgh Steelers offense on Sunday in the Super Wild Card Weekend round of the NFL playoffs.
Klein is a familiar face around One Bills Drive. The 32-year-old veteran has spent part of four seasons with the Bills. Klein was on the active roster in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 Klein spent time with the Bills, the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens. Buffalo cut Klein at the end of training camp this season but then in late-September, with the surprise announcement that Christian Kirksey would be retiring, they brought him back via their practice squad. Klein was elevated to the Buffalo roster on October 11 after Milano was injured but released him on December 9. Now with injuries starting to mount back up, and McDermott saying that he doesn’t expect Milano to return for the playoffs, the Bills have brought Klein back once again.
With the signing of Klein, the Bills are allowed a total of three more signings over the duration of the playoffs.
Teams in the playoffs are limited to a total of four free agent signings (including players off other teams' practice squads) for the period beginning after 4 p.m. ET next Wednesday, Jan. 10 -- and just two free agent signings during any week of the playoffs.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 2, 2024
Also, related to Klein’s signing, Buffalo released defensive tackle Eli Ankou to make room on the roster. Buffalo has depth at the tackle position. With the recent return of DaQuan Jones from his own stint on IR, the Bills currently carry six defensive tackles on their active roster and are looking at the possible return of Jordan Phillips should they make it into the divisional round of the playoffs.