ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills refined their 53-man roster Wednesday, adding veteran offensive lineman Germain Ifedi and re-signing long snapper Reid Ferguson. General manager Brandon Beane also confirmed the team plans to sign linebacker Christian Kirksey to the practice squad.

Rookie receiver Justin Shorter and linebacker Baylon Spector were placed on injured reserve to make room on the roster for Ifedi and Ferguson. Both are dealing with hamstring injuries, and eligible to return later this season. Buffalo brought back 14 players to its practice squad, leaving one spot open for a quarterback, Beane said. See the full practice squad list below.

Kirksey has started 94 games over NFL seasons with Cleveland, Green Bay and Houston. He had 124 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for the Texans last season. Released after battling a hamstring injury in preseason, Kirksey’s physical is still pending. Starting out on the practice squad, Kirksey could be elevated to the active roster to aide the Bills’ unsettled middle linebacker position once he gets healthy and up to speed with the defensive scheme. Kirksey has familiarity with Bills’ assistant Al Holcomb from his time with the Browns.

“It’s a veteran guy,” Beane said. “We got some guys on the team that know him. We were kind of after him a few years ago, and he ended up going to Cleveland. … I feel like we’ve been after this guy a few times.”

With the Bills releasing veteran linebacker A.J. Klein and declining to bring him back on the practice squad, Beane said that Kirksey, “getting in here, getting in our system. I don’t know exactly — he’s going through the physical — where he’s at, if he’s full strength or not. Hopefully, he passes the physical. And then kind of ramp him up in our system and we’ll see where it goes.”

Ifedi, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound lineman who was a first-round pick in 2016, has started 83 games for the Seahawks and Bears. Ifedi released was by the Lions after preseason. Buffalo’s depth at offensive tackle was weakened during preseason by Brandon Shell’s retirement and Tommy Doyle’s season-ending injury. The Bills kept Ryan Van Demark and Alec Anderson, two tackles without any NFL game experience, to back up starters Dion Dawkins and Spencer Brown.

Beane said the Bills coveted Ifedi for his combination of size, experience and draft pedigree.

“He’s just a big man,” Beane said. “He’s long. And the thing that I saw is if he got beat, it wasn’t an immediate loss. It was a fight to the third or fourth second of the play versus, oh guy swiped his hands and just got right to the quarterback and got on him. So he’s got some versatility. I would say his position one is right tackle, but he can go over there and play left. So he gives us a guy with veteran experience.”

Both seventh-round draft picks released by the Bills on Tuesday, cornerback Alex Austin and offensive lineman Nick Broeker, were claimed on waivers by the Texans. Safety Zayne Anderson was claimed by the Packers.

Practice squad signings

  • DT Eli Ankou
  • WR Marcell Ateman
  • CB Kyron Brown
  • DE Kameron Cline
  • DL Richard Gouraige
  • CB Ja’Marcus Ingram
  • WR Andy Isabella
  • OL Kevin Jarvis
  • RB Ty Johnson
  • OL Greg Mancz
  • WR Tyrell Shavers
  • WR Bryan Thompson
  • DT Kendall Vickers
  • TE Joel Wilson


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.