A swap of reserve quarterbacks dominated the headlines of the Buffalo Bills' transactions on Tuesday, but the team also made a noteworthy decision regarding injured linebacker Kiko Alonso, as well.
Alonso, expected to miss the season recovering from ACL surgery, had been on the Active/Non-Football Injury list, counting against the team's 90-man limit throughout training camp. Today, he was placed on Reserve/Non-Football Injury, which means he no longer counts against the active roster.
The designation also leaves the Bills options for Alonso's status depending on how quickly he can recover, as explained by ESPN's Mike Rodak. At minimum, he won't be able to participate in any activities through the team's first six games (which he wouldn't have anyway, given the knee injury). If he's able to return to practice by Week 11, then that's good news for everyone involved. After Week 11, if Alonso remains unavailable, he'll stay on the NFI list and, notably, will not accrue a second NFL season.
That is significant, because it means that if Alonso misses the entire year on NFI, he'd become a restricted free agent (as opposed to unrestricted) when his contract expires after the 2016 season. The Bills are able to use the NFI designation, and thereby create this scenario, because Alonso's injury happened away from team headquarters.