With their top two running backs out for the foreseeable future after suffering injuries in the preseason opener last Friday, and the receiving corps sustaining three losses just prior to last week's game with Washington, the Bills addressed both positions Monday signing RB Andre Anderson and WR Aaron Rhea.
Anderson (5'11" 212) played his college ball at Tulane, where the running back was a 1,000-yard rusher in his senior season when he led the Green Wave in rushing yards (1,016) and touchdowns (8). He also played in the East-West Shrine game prior to the 2010 NFL draft.
After going undrafted Anderson was signed by the Oakland Raiders as a rookie free agent in late April, but was released during the Raiders' spring camps. Anderson is known as a slashing one-cut back that has receiving ability after catching 55 passes over his final two collegiate seasons.
The Bills will be without top back Fred Jackson for the rest of the preseason with a severe hand injury, and also lost backup Marshawn Lynch for an undetermined amount of time due to an ankle injury.
Buffalo also addressed their receiver position signing Rhea (6'0" 205), who also was an undrafted rookie this past spring. He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings, but was waived by the club on June 14.
Blessed with 4.5 speed, Rhea is considered a deep threat that also offers return ability. He posted 59 receptions for 809 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009 for Stephen F. Austin.
Rhea will look to take advantage of the vacancies on the roster created by James Hardy and rookie Marcus Easley. Hardy could be out for another week with an undisclosed injury, while Easley is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery for a left leg injury suffered in training camp.
Both Anderson and Rhea will have some major cram sessions with their position coaches and their playbooks, as they have three days to get a feel for the offense before Buffalo's next preseason game on Thursday against the Colts in Toronto.
The Bills had one roster spot open after Felton Huggins was placed on the waived/injured list last week. Buffalo opened another roster spot by also placing LB Ryan Manalac on the waived/injured list Monday.