Precariously thin at the guard position, the Bills acted quickly in fortifying their offensive line depth signing veteran free agent guard Kendall Simmons a day after announcing that Seth McKinney and Eric Wood were out for the year with serious leg injuries.
Simmons (6'3" 315), a former first-round pick of the Steelers (2002), played seven seasons in Pittsburgh, but missed the entire 2004 campaign due to injury. He returned to action in 2005 winning a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh, but an Achilles tendon injury brought another season to an early close for the offensive lineman in 2008.
The Steelers eventually released Simmons this past February.
He was signed by New England a week before the regular season, but was inactive for six games and made just one appearance on special teams in Week 6 for the Patriots.
New England subsequently released Simmons on Nov. 6.
Simmons, 30, will bring valuable veteran depth to the interior of Buffalo's offensive line. The Auburn product has 80 starts in his NFL career. He had worked out for the Bills earlier this season.
Buffalo had no choice but to add an offensive lineman Tuesday as there were just two healthy guards left on the roster in Andy Levitre and Kirk Chambers, who is primarily an offensive tackle.
Rookie guard Eric Wood suffered a compound leg fracture in last Sunday's game against Jacksonville that required surgery. Fellow guard Seth McKinney was also lost for the year in the same game with a torn meniscus in his knee.
To make room for Simmons on the roster Wood was placed on injured reserve Tuesday bringing the player total with that designation to 13 this season with McKinney expected to soon follow.