A day after being called week to week with an ankle injury suffered on Sunday, Shaq Lawson’s season is over. Buffalo placed the pass rusher on injured reserve Tuesday with his ankle injury. Joining him on I-R is WR Jordan Matthews, who has tried to battle through a knee injury the past few games with limited success.
Lawson got rolled up on a goal line play in the second half last week and limped off the field. He did not return to the game. The defensive end’s season comes to a close as the current team leader in sacks with four. One of those came on Sunday on Tom Brady.
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier admits his absence will be felt.
“He’s our starting left defensive end, so it’s a loss for us for sure,” said Frazier. “It also means that gives other guys opportunities like Eddie Yarbrough, he’ll have more opportunities. Ryan Davis, he’d get more opportunities. You hate to lose Shaq Lawson. He’s done a really good job for us. He’s improving and he needs those snaps. In a lot of ways, this is new territory in some ways in our defense, so you want him to get as many snaps as he can get.”
Frazier said Lawson’s most valuable contribution this season was holding the edge in the run game, a task that will likely fall to rotational end Ryan Davis.
Meanwhile Matthews has tried to battle through a knee injury that has bothered the receiver for the better part of the last month.
It was bad enough to keep him out of the Week 11 game against the Chargers and he has been limited in practice ever since. Clearly his condition was not improving and the team made the decision to shut him down for the rest of the season.
His first year in Buffalo was unfortunately one littered with injury. He sustained a fractured sternum in his first practice with the club after he was acquired via trade. He also suffered a thumb injury that required surgery in Week 4, before this latest knee ailment.
Matthews will be a free agent this offseason if not re-signed by the Bills beforehand. In 10 games, he finished with a career-low 25 receptions for 282 yards and a touchdown.
*Bills elevate DE Capi and WR Reilly *In response to Lawson and Matthews moving to injured reserve, Buffalo fill the two vacant roster spots by promoting DE Cap Capi and WR Brandon Reilly.
Capi (6-3, 249) was signed to the Bills practice squad on Nov. 21st and has played in four regular season games in his NFL career, all with the New York Giants earlier this season.
The defensive end originally signed as an undrafted rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. With a college career split between Colorado State and Akron, Capi had 21.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.
Reilly has spent the entire season on Buffalo’s practice squad after putting together a strong training camp and preseason that had him in contention for an active roster spot. He’ll now get an opportunity to contribute over the final four games of the regular season.
*S Marlowe, P Carter added to practice squad *To fill the openings left behind by Capi and Reilly on Buffalo’s practice squad, the Bills signed free agent safety Dean Marlowe and free agent punt Cory Carter.
Marlowe, 25, is a player familiar to both GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. He signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted rookie in 2015. He made the 53-man roster as a rookie and appeared in four games in the second half of the season, serving mainly on special teams.
He made the roster again in 2016, but was placed on injured reserve in Week 3 with a hamstring injury.
This past summer, Marlowe (6-1, 208) was waived/injured by Carolina in early August, but reached an injury settlement with the club making him a free agent.
Carter (5-9, 200) was a reserve/future free agent signee of the Houston Texans this past January, but was released by the club during final cuts in early September.
The punter was a Third-Team All-American at Texas Southern ranking third in the nation in gross punting average (45.7) and a First-Team All-Conference Selection (2015). The Mississippi native was a highly-recruited soccer player in high school, who only began punting his senior year in high school.