The Buffalo Bills placed starting left guard Chris Williams on Injured Reserve on Saturday, bringing his first season with the team to an abrupt halt after just three starts.
Signed this past spring from St. Louis (to a four-year, $13.5 million contract) and immediately installed at left guard, Williams missed a healthy chunk of the preseason with a back ailment. He wound up healthy enough to start the Bills' first three games, but left a Week 3 loss to San Diego early and has not played since.
Williams was limited in practice this past week leading up to tomorrow's game against New England, but evidently his long-term prognosis is bleak enough that the team decided to just shut him down for the year. Rookie guard Cyril Richardson, who has started each of the past two games in Williams' place, will now be the full-time starting left guard.
Filling Williams' spot on the active roster: rookie safety Kenny Ladler, who was promoted from the practice squad. He will presumably bolster the team's special teams depth in the continued absence of Marcus Easley. Meanwhile, the Bills will proceed with just eight offensive linemen on the active roster - Chris Hairston, Kraig Urbik, and Cyrus Kouandjio are the reserves - though they do have two more on the practice squad.