BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills have re-signed veteran linebacker A.J. Klein to the practice squad, replacing Christian Kirksey, who plans to retire, the team announced Wednesday.

The Bills added the 31-year-old Kirksey, a nine-year NFL veteran who started all 17 games for the Texans in 2022, to the practice squad Aug. 31 after releasing Klein while cutting down to the initial 53-man roster. He was not elevated to the active roster for either of Buffalo’s first two games. Kirksey is the second player to retire from the Bills this season, following offensive tackle Brandon Shell during training camp.

Klein, 31, played in six games with one start after joining the Bills practice squad last September. He started 11 games for the Bills in 2020, and appeared in 15 games in 2021.

Second-year linebacker Terrel Bernard beat out Klein and veteran Tyrel Dodson to be Buffalo’s starting linebacker this season alongside All-Pro Matt Milano. The Bills had a hole to fill in the middle of the defense after five-year starter Tremaine Edmunds signed with the Bears in free agency.


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.