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Bills sign tight end; Fine to I-R

Posted Nov 18, 2009

The Bills injury bug is alive and well at One Bills Drive. Tight end Derek Fine became the 11th player to go on the team’s injured reserve list this season after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his knee. To fill the void at the tight end position the Bills signed free agent Joe Klopfenstein.

Klopfenstein (6’5”, 262) is now in his fourth NFL season, and is a former second-round pick of the St. Louis Rams. He has 37 career NFL starts on his resume. The tight end had worked out for the Bills earlier this season.

He’s primarily been a blocking tight end in his NFL career with just 33 receptions and a pair of touchdowns in his time with the Rams. But he was an accomplished pass catcher in college at Colorado where he had 86 receptions for over 1,000 yards and established a school record with 13 touchdowns.

With Fine going on injured reserve, Buffalo was down to just two healthy tight ends on the roster in rookie Shawn Nelson and Jonathan Stupar, and had to address the position.

Klopfenstein was with the Rams this preseason, but he was waived when they reduced their roster on Sept. 1.

Fine appeared in only 10 games as a rookie last season when thumb surgery kept him out of the team’s first six games in 2008. This season Fine appeared in eight games making six starts.

Practice squad move
The Bills also made an addition to their practice squad Wednesday signing C/G Christian Gaddis. Gaddis is now in his third stint with the club as he was a former undrafted rookie free agent signing of the team in 2007, and was recently brought back to the club when he was signed to the training camp roster on Aug. 12. But he was released in final cuts on Sept. 5.

To make room for Gaddis on the eight-man practice squad, the team placed WR C.J. Hawthorne on the practice squad injured list.

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