Buffalo Bills Bring Jeff Tuel, Six Other Cuts Back to Practice Squad

Released by the Bills on Saturday after one year on their roster, quarterback Jeff Tuel is set to begin the 2014 season on Buffalo's practice squad. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

Released by the Bills on Saturday after one year on their roster, quarterback Jeff Tuel is set to begin the 2014 season on Buffalo’s practice squad. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills started filling up their practice squad on Sunday by re-signing seven of the 10 players who they released on Saturday.

S Deon Broomfield: An undrafted rookie from Iowa State, Broomfield was an active contributor to the Bills defense this preseason and clearly earned his spot on the team’s practice squad. He is a good run-support safety who would be a worthy call-up if safety depth is needed later this year.

LB Jimmy Gaines: A high-effort player who reportedly received some first-team reps in training camp, according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak, Gaines is underwhelming physically but is an instinctive player who can also contribute on special teams. The undrafted rookie from Miami could be a candidate for promotion later this season.

WR Caleb Holley: An unheralded rookie out of East Central who earned a spot on the Bills’ preseason roster by impressing on a tryout basis at the team’s rookie minicamp, Holley has some developmental upside as a slot receiver. He’s unlikely to get called up this year but could be an intriguing candidate for future rosters.

DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun: Igbinosun has been trying to make it in the NFL since 2012 but hasn’t made it past a practice squad during the regular season. He saw no significant playing time on the Bills defense this preseason, but his versatility to play both outside and inside makes him a good choice to keep around.

DE Bryan Johnson: An undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M, Johnson flashed at times this preseason and is a developmental pass-rusher.

S Kenny Ladler: Expected by many to be a Day 3 selection in this year’s draft, Ladler was the most prominent of Buffalo’s undrafted rookie signings following May’s NFL draft. The Vanderbilt product was outshined by Broomfield among the UDFA safeties this preseason, but has enough ability in both run support and coverage to potentially make a 53-man roster down the line.

QB Jeff Tuel: The only player on the Bills practice squad thus far who has any NFL regular-season experience, Tuel was expected to be the Bills’ No. 2 quarterback but was replaced Saturday by veteran Kyle Orton. He gives the Bills a developmental third-string quarterback without having to roster one, and he would likely be the player brought onto the roster if Orton or starter EJ Manuel was to suffer an injury.

The Bills still have three open spots on their practice squad that they can fill. Two of the available spots can be used to add any players who have no more than two accrued NFL seasons.

Wide receiver T.J. Graham was a prime candidate to fill one of those spots after his release from the Bills on Saturday, but he was claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

The only players from yesterday’s cuts who have not been brought back for the practice squad or accounted for elsewhere are offensive linemen Antoine McClain and Doug Legursky. McClain is practice squad eligible but Legursky is not.

It’s possible the Bills could bring back McClain or players cut earlier in the process to fill available spots on their practice squad, but it’s more likely those spots will be filled by players who were waived by other teams and unclaimed.

Update, Sunday 5 p.m. ET: The Bills have reportedly added fullback Lonnie Pryor, who went undrafted out of Florida State in 2013, as the eighth member of their practice squad according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Pryor, who has not appeared in an NFL regular-season game spent the preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has a comparable skill set to that of the fullback on the Bills’ active roster, Frank Summers. He has enough athleticism to play running back and be a rushing threat out of the backfield, but he is also a solid lead blocker with some experience catching passes.

Update, Monday 11:30 a.m. ET: The Bills announced the signings of Pryor and guard D.J. Morrell to their practice squad on Monday morning. Morrell, an undrafted rookie from Old Dominion, spent this preseason with the St. Louis Rams after originally being signed by the Detroit Lions following May’s draft. He gives the Bills an offensive lineman on their practice squad, but he’s a long shot to ever be a regular-season contributor.

Tags: Bryan Johnson, Caleb Holley, Deon Broomfield, Ike Igbinosun, Jeff Tuel, Jimmy Gaines, Kenny Ladler, Practice Squad, Roster Cuts

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