Buffalo Payments, beset by accidents to secondary, signal CB Xavier Rhodes to apply squad, supply says


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills are experiencing a rough stretch of injuries, and no spot on the roster has suffered more than the secondary.

The Bills have added significant depth to the cornerback position by signing veteran Xavier Rhodes to the team’s practice squad, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, where two open spots currently exist.

Rhodes himself appeared to confirm the news in a tweet Tuesday evening that read #BillsMafia.

Rhodes, 32, most recently played for the Indianapolis Colts from 2020-21, starting 29 games over two seasons. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was coach of the Vikings when Rhodes was drafted 25th overall in 2013 out of Florida State. The three-time Pro Bowler was named First Team All-Pro in 2017 and is also a former Vikings teammate of Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Rhodes has started 126 games, recording 13 interceptions and 453 career tackles. He dealt with a calf injury during his final season with the Colts.

“We always like to start inside of the building [when help is needed],” coach Sean McDermott said Monday. “In terms of the guys that are here working and working hard and developing. If we need to, though, we will go outside of the building.”

The Bills’ lack of depth at secondary stems from the team’s top three corners dealing with various injuries. Top corner Tre’Davious White is on the reserve/PUP list at minimum through this Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens as he continues to rehab a torn left ACL suffered on Thanksgiving Day last year. General manger Brandon Beane has said White will need practice time before playing in a game.

“The only thing I’ve done is just try to encourage him,” Frazier said of White. “I just need to get brought up to date on how he’s doing, but definitely don’t want to put any pressure on him. Want him to continue to do what he’s doing with the doctors and the trainers, and when they tell us he’s ready to go, we’ll be fired up and excited to have him back, but just want him to go at his own pace. We’ll hold it down until he’s back.”

The No. 1 cornerback in his place, 2020 seventh-round pick Dane Jackson, is dealing with a neck injury suffered in Week 2, while rookie sixth-round pick Christian Benford required surgery on a broken right hand and will miss about a couple of weeks. That leaves rookie first-round pick Kaiir Elam, defensive backs Siran Neal and Cam Lewis, and practice squad defensive back Kyler McMichael and cornerback Ja’Marcus Ingram, undrafted out of Buffalo, who was called into action following Benford’s injury in Buffalo’s 21-19 loss to Miami on Sunday.

The safety position has also been hit, with Micah Hyde (neck) out for the season and Jordan Poyer dealing with a foot injury. The Bills signed offensive lineman Justin Murray to the active roster Tuesday, with offensive tackle Tommy Doyle (torn ACL) going on injured reserve.

Frazier said he and Beane talked Saturday night before the Dolphins game about whether they have previously experienced the number of injuries the Bills are seeing in a short amount of time.

“We were both trying to recollect. It’s part of our game,” Frazier said. “Injuries are definitely a part of our game. It happens and you just have to keep moving forward. We’ve been hit with the injury bug, but we’ve got some resilient guys who battle through …. You know, it can happen to any team. We’re dealing with it right now.”

NFL Network was first to report Rhodes’ signing with the Bills.



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