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Buffalo Bills waive Mike Williams, who could still land on IR

One way or another, Mike Williams' short-lived career with the Buffalo Bills is on the verge of being over. Either he'll be claimed by a team by tomorrow evening, or he'll land on IR and eventually be cut.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have waived wide receiver Mike Williams with an injury designation, according to a report by John Wawrow of The Associated Press.

Williams missed Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos with a calf injury. If no team claims Williams by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he will revert to the Bills' Injured Reserve list, so his Bills career may not technically be over yet.

Acquired via trade for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft this past spring, Williams began the season third on the Bills' receiver depth chart. In the first five games of the season, he played 51 percent of the Bills' offensive snaps in that role, but caught only eight passes (on 18 targets) for 142 yards and a touchdown.

In Week 5, the same week that Kyle Orton assumed the starting quarterback job, Williams saw decreased reps with Chris Hogan working in as a slot alternative. In Week 6, Williams was a healthy scratch, and Hogan has been the slot receiver ever since; from Week 7 on, Hogan (36 receptions, 374 yards, four touchdowns) has played 291 snaps to Williams' 21. Williams was a healthy scratch three times, and would've been for a fourth in Denver were it not for the calf injury.

If Williams does revert to IR, his eventual release will only be an issue of timing and formality. He is clearly not a part of the Bills' long-term plans, and the team will be anxious to get his large 2015 (and beyond) salary off of the books. So again, while his Bills career may not yet technically be over, it basically is.

Filling Williams' place on the 53-man roster: third-year receiver Deonte Thompson, signed off of the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.