With five of Buffalo's receivers simultaneously dealing with various injuries, the Bills had no choice but to re-stock that position. They did so Wednesday signing veteran free agent Ruvell Martin.
Martin arrived at One Bills Drive Wednesday morning met with the coaching staff, passed a physical and was signed a short time later. He was out on the practice field later in the afternoon.
"Ruvell is a guy that's been around and I think he'll pick up the system quickly and we'll see what he can do," said head coach Chan Gailey. "It's tough to come in this late, but he's a seasoned guy and he'll handle it well."
A five-year veteran Martin (6'4" 220) played last season for the Seattle Seahawks appearing in five games where he had seven catches for 158 yards and a touchdown. In 2009 he was a reserve receiver for St. Louis.
He's also been signed to and taken off NFL rosters on short notice before, so having to learn a new system quickly is something he's been through before.
"The toughest part will be getting the plays down, but it's not anything that I'm concerned about," said Martin. "I'm going to be working hard mentally to get everything down. I'm a pretty smart guy so I'm not worried about it. I think I'll be ready for it."
Still, with only three short days to prepare Gailey doesn't intend to put Martin in the lineup until the latter stages of Saturday's preseason game against Jacksonville.
"Maybe get him in late, some special teams, just to see and let him get on the field," Gailey said. "We'd like to see if he can learn enough to get there. The good thing is that we are in somewhat of a game plan situation. He only has to learn a limited amount. He doesn't have to learn the whole thing."
Martin, 29, began his career with the Green Bay Packers, but could never crack the starting lineup in that club's deep and talented receiving corps. His most productive season was 2007 when he had four touchdown catches.
Known as a solid route runner, Martin often uses his size and length to make plays on the ball and is adept at coming down with the ball in traffic. Though he does not have elite speed he has shown an ability to get behind defenses as evidenced by his career average of 15.5 yards per catch.
Craig Davis and David Nelson returned to the practice field Wednesday joining Martin giving Buffalo eight healthy receivers now.
Donald Jones, Roscoe Parrish and Naaman Roosevelt are all out injured with Jones and Roosevelt not expected back until the regular season opener. Buffalo now has 11 receivers on their roster.