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Buffalo Bills sign Larry Dean, place Jonathan Meeks on IR

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The Bills have signed a new linebacker to replace second-year safety Jonathan Meeks on the active roster. Meeks is now out for the year with a neck injury.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The Buffalo Bills made a tweak to their roster on their off day, signing free agent linebacker Larry Dean and placing second-year safety Jonathan Meeks on injured reserve.

Meeks, the team's fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2013, spent half of his rookie season on IR with a foot injury, earning a prominent special teams role upon his return. He may have earned that role again in 2014, but after a lengthy outing in the team's second preseason game against Carolina, he spent the rest of the exhibition season off of the playing field with a neck injury. He has not appeared in game since that August 9 contest, and barely practiced in the interim, and now his season is over.

Dean, a fourth-year pro out of Valdosta State, is a 6'0", 229-pound outside linebacker that spent most of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, where he worked with current Bills linebackers coach Fred Pagac. Known for his special teams work, Dean adds an option in that phase while providing depth at a position that currently has starter Keith Rivers ailing.

The Bills, and their newest player, will be back on the field tomorrow to begin preparations for their Week 3 showdown with the San Diego Chargers.