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Top 3 things we learned as GM Brandon Beane addresses the state of the Bills 2023 roster

The Buffalo Bills practice during OTAs at One Bills Drive, June 6, 2023.
The Buffalo Bills practice during OTAs at One Bills Drive, June 6, 2023.

Bills GM Brandon Beane met with the media Wednesday afternoon as the team's Week 1 roster starts to take its final shape.

The Bills added a left tackle to the 53-man roster and signed 14 players to the practice squad on Wednesday.

Here's the top 3 things we learned from Beane on the state of the Bills roster:

Beane updates Von Miller's timeline

Beane gave some insight on the decision to leave edge rusher Von Miller on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Because he carries this designation into the regular season, Miller will not be eligible to play until the Bills face the Jacksonville Jaguars in London in Week 5.

Beane said that because of the positive progression Miller has made in the offseason, it was a tough decision to leave the 34-year-old on the PUP.

"Debated round and round a little bit, but ultimately, long season and we want Von for the stretch run," Beane said. "He's trending up and it was a chance he would've been practicing soon. But he's just not quite there. And the closer we got, don't think he would have been ready to immediately start the season and so we're just going to try to play it smart."

Miller, who had eight sacks in 11 games last season in his first year as a Bill, has still been active in the film room and as an observer of practice according to multiple teammates. Beane said that the seven-time All-Pro is mentally ready to get back on the field.

With an atypical practice schedule preceding the London game, Beane said he is taking it one day at a time with the potential decision to play Miller in Week 5.

"If he's confident and ready to roll and we feel he's had enough in pads, because you're not gonna be able to wear pads in practice until then," Beane said. "So that would probably be a decision we'd have to make that week. He hasn't played football since last Thanksgiving … but I know he's going to want to play in that game, and we'd be crazy not to want him out there. So hopefully the stars align."

Why the addition of Germain Ifedi made sense

With LB Baylon Spector and WR Justin Shorter placed on the injured reserve following the release of the initial 53-man roster, the Bills re-signed long snapper Reid Ferguson, as expected, and brought in offensive tackle Germain Ifedi.

Ifedi is in his seventh season in the NFL, spending most of his career as a right tackle. Beane credited his experience in the league as a motivation behind the Bills' transaction.

"He's started a lot of games … he's played a lot," Beane said. "He's just a big man, he's long. And the thing that I saw is that if he got beat, it wasn't an immediate loss. It was a fight to the third or fourth second of the play."

With the Bills keeping linemen Ryan Van Demark, Alec Anderson and O'Cyrus Torrence, all in either their first or second season in the league, Ifedi's veteran experience and reliability will serve the Bills' line well.

"We went a little bit young with Van Demark, and when [Ifedi] became available a couple of days ago, we got on the horn and got him over here and had a visit with him and got him signed today," Beane said.

Beane said that he was impressed by the work that Anderson and Van Demark put in over the offseason and that they both had strong showings in training camp.

The plan at middle linebacker & adding another QB

As mentioned, LB Baylon Spector is headed to IR and after LB A.J. Klein did not make the 53-man roster, the Bills have been on the lookout this week for another player to bring in for that middle linebacker position.

According to Beane, that figures to be Christian Kirksey, a former starting linebacker for the Texans. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker has experience playing both inside and outside spots; he's started in 29 games with the Texans since 2021.

The move still needs to be finalized as Kirksey has to pass his physical. He would be a practice squad addition if he does sign.

"He's agreed to come here but he's in the process, physical and all that stuff, so he's not signed yet. He'd be a veteran practice squad," Beane said.

The Bills also placed QB Matt Barkley on IR this week, leaving an opening for a quarterback on the practice squad. QB Kyle Allen is currently the primary backup behind Josh Allen on the active roster.

"Working on that (third) quarterback. It's in motion. We are going to add one, it's in motion, it'll probably be finalized (Thursday)," Beane said.

The signing of Kirksey and a quarterback would complete Buffalo's 16-man practice squad as the team heads into Week 1.

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