BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — General manager Brandon Beane said on Wednesday that the Bills still have faith in 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam and did not consider trading the cornerback before Tuesday’s deadline.
Beane said Elam is dealing with a nagging ankle injury and the team is discussing whether to place him on injured reserve.
Elam was inactive until Week 5 after Tre White suffered a season-ending Achilles tear. He has played in three games this season, starting two of them. After the Bills signed 35-year-old Josh Norman to the practice squad on Oct. 10, he was active for last Thursday’s 24-18 win against Tampa Bay, while Elam went back to the inactive list. Elam did not practice on Wednesday due to the ankle injury.
“Not everything has been perfect,” Beane said. “I’m still very hopeful. Kaiir is here still working hard, he’s doing everything. It would be easy if he’s running the streets or not in his playbook, he’s been doing everything.”
Beane said that the Bills did not consider trading him at the deadline. However, Buffalo did acquire cornerback Rasul Douglas from the Green Bay Packers, which may create a roster crunch if Elam is not placed on injured reserve.
While Elam has struggled in his three years in Buffalo, the team is hoping that he will be able to turn it around. Beane noted that Norman struggled early in his career before becoming a first-team All-Pro in his fourth season in 2015.
“Not everything has worked out perfect, but he’s a young player,” Beane said. “I’ve gone back and looked at his college stuff, and I see it. I know what’s in there. We just got to get it out of him. We got to get his confidence up and make sure he gets back to 100%, however we do that.”
Beane against pushing back trade deadline
Beane said Wednesday that he is against moving the NFL trade deadline back, citing teams tanking and teams making big additions late in the season.
“I think some teams truly may turn on the tank button or whatever it is. I would hate if you’re rolling along, everything’s good, and there’s five weeks to go in and season and a team you’re competing against just trades for three huge pieces and now it changes the game,” Beane said.
The NFL’s deadline used to be after Week 6, and it was pushed back by two weeks in 2012. With the NFL expanding the schedule to 18 weeks and 17 games, the league’s trade deadline is the earliest when compared to the NHL, MLB and NBA.
“I think there’s still enough teams in it that people aren’t going to just give players away at this point, which I think some sports they just do that,” Beane said. “They’re almost hoping to lose and I’m not a fan of the whole tanking thing.”
Allen limited in practice, Hamlin out with illness
Coach Sean McDermott said that LB Baylon Spector did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, TE Quintin Morris was limited with an ankle injury and Josh Allen was limited with a lingering shoulder issue. Damar Hamlin was out with flu-like symptoms.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.