Rookie LB Tony Steward got his first NFL start last week in place of injured LB Nigel Bradham. His start lasted less than a half as a back injury sidelined him early in the win over the Texans. Unfortunately that back injury has also cost him the rest of his rookie season as the Bills placed the sixth-round pick on injured reserve.
It's been a rough season for Steward when it's come to staying healthy. An MCL knee injury cost him time in the preseason and the early stages of the regular season. He came back healthy and played largely on special teams appearing in seven games.
Steward will be replaced on the 53-man roster by a fellow rookie, who had been on the active roster for most of the season. AJ Tarpley appeared in the team's first 11 games this season chiefly on special teams. He was released last week and re-signed to the team's practice squad as they added LB Kevin Reddick to the active roster.
Now Tarpley is needed to fill the void left by Steward. If Nigel Bradham can't play Sunday in Philadelphia either Tarpley or Reddick will start in his place.
Steward is the second Bills linebacker to land on injured reserve, joining Ty Powell, whose 2015 campaign ended in the preseason with a torn ACL.