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Buffalo Bills sign Phillip Tanner to back up Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown

The Buffalo Bills needed a third running back for at least one game, and signed him today: Phillip Tanner, a fourth-year pro formerly of the Dallas Cowboys.

Ronald Martinez

According to Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News, the Buffalo Bills are on the verge of signing running back Phillip Tanner to the active roster.

Once the move becomes official, the Bills will need to make a corresponding move to take a player off of the 53-man roster. One would think that that move will involve C.J. Spiller, who had surgery to repair a broken collarbone on Monday. That move may or may not involve IR with a designation to return.

Tanner, 26, is a fourth-year veteran, and a former undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State that spent his first three pro seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. (He also spent some time this preseason with the Indianapolis Colts.) The 5'10", 208-pound back carried the ball 56 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns in his three seasons in Big D. He also has some special teams background, which will increase his game-day value while Fred Jackson is sidelined with a groin injury.

It is unlikely that Tanner will factor into the team's running back rotation, which will feature Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown until Jackson returns to the lineup.