Going into the regular season minus Marshawn Lynch, the Bills felt comfortable having Fred Jackson and veteran Dominic Rhodes to lean on for the first three games of the regular season. At least that was the perception. Rhodes was apparently beaten out for the third running back job by Xavier Omon as the team reduced its roster to 53 players Saturday.
The move was a surprise because earlier this week after the preseason finale Jauron mentioned Rhodes specifically when lamenting the loss of Marshawn Lynch for the first three games of the season.
"We'll lose Marshawn," said Jauron. "We've got great confidence in Freddy (Jackson) and Dominic (Rhodes) is a proven player."
But Rhodes obviously did not prove enough to his new team. Looking at the preseason statistics Omon got more 10 more carries (29 for 79 yards) than Rhodes (19-64), but Rhodes had the superior yards per carry average (3.4) to that of Omon (2.7).
The Bills kept a total of four backs including FB Corey McIntyre.
Hardy to PUP
In a less surprising move the Bills placed second-year wide receiver James Hardy on Reserve/PUP for the regular season meaning he will not be able to practice with the team for six more weeks. The conclusion of Week 6 (Oct. 19) is the earliest Hardy could begin practicing with the team.
Vets waivedOL Kirk Chambers, who had served as the team's swing tackle the past two seasons was also among the veterans released with Rhodes. The emergence of second-year tackle Demetrius Bell helped to make the veteran lineman expendable.
John DiGiorgio, who was already on injured reserve and did not help in reducing the active roster numbers was waived/failed physical.
In addition to Chambers and Rhodes, Buffalo waived 18 other players. They are listed below.
QB Matt Baker
LB Alvin Bowen
DE Copeland Bryan
TE Tyson DeVree
DE Ataefiok Etukeren
G Christian Gaddis
RB Bruce Hall
DB Cary Harris
WR C.J. Hawthorne
OT Nick Hennessey
WR Felton Huggins
DT Derrick Jones
DT Corey Mace
LB Ryan Manalac
TE Jonathan Stupar
OL Brandon Rodd, who suffered a sprained knee in the preseason finale against the Lions Thursday night was waived/injured getting the roster to the required 53.