The Buffalo Bills begin a week's worth of practices in preparation for their Week 1 season opener against the Indianapolis Colts this week, and they are working on filling out their 10-member practice squad for the occasion. They announced on Sunday the re-signings of five players that spent the summer with them to the taxi squad, and though they have not confirmed two more signings yet, they are reportedly on the way.
Those five players that spent the summer with Buffalo that are now on the practice squad? Running back Cierre Wood, wide receiver Dezmin Lewis, guard Cyril Richardson, linebacker Kevin Reddick, and safety Jonathan Meeks. The two additional players that will reportedly join the practice squad, but have not yet been confirmed by the team? Offensive lineman Chris Martin and cornerback Jaylen Watkins.
Lewis, Richardson, and Meeks have all been mid-to-late round draft picks for the Bills in 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively, and are names you are almost certainly familiar with. Wood and Reddick were more recent acquisitions thanks to injuries causing depth concerns, and both showed well in fairly extensive preseason work. They earned longer looks with the organization.
Martin is a second-year, guard-tackle 'tweener out of Central Florida that spent his 2015 preseason splitting time between two Bills division rivals in Miami and New England. He gives the Bills a tenth offensive lineman on the practice field, joining the eight on the active roster plus Richardson.
Watkins is an interesting name, and not just because he was a fourth-round draft pick in Philadelphia in April of 2014: he is also the older half-brother of Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins. He only appeared in four games as a rookie, and Philadelphia, knowing he wasn't going to make their 53-man roster this week, reportedly attempted to trade him. At just under 6'0" and 194 pounds with 4.41-second 40-yard dash speed, Watkins certainly is not lacking for athleticism. The Bills currently have only five healthy cornerbacks on their active roster.
Between the five confirmed signings and the two more that are unconfirmed, the Bills have three more slots to fill on their practice squad. Due to a rule specifying that only two players who have been active for nine or more games in a season can be retained on a practice squad, however, quarterback Matt Simms won't be in the running for the Bills, as both Richardson and Reddick have exceeded nine active games in a season previously.