As noted when Buffalo inked Spikes, the Bills are clearly concerned about the status of rookie linebacker Reggie Ragland, who suffered a knee injury last week. The club is reportedly hopeful that Ragland avoided any ligament damage, but Buffalo had planned to press forward and work out veteran linebackers. And while Joe Buscaglia of WKBW (Twitter link) says that the dual signings don’t necessarily mean that Ragland will be shelved for a significant amount of time, Garafolo (Twitter link) reports that the Bills are worried enough about Ragland to secure several contingency plans.
Hawthorne, 31, is just that (a contingency option), as the Bills are likely hoping that they won’t have to count on the former Saint/Seahawk during the regular season. But if they do, they’ll turn to a veteran who has a hefty amount of experience, as Hawthorne has appeared in 111 games (83 starts) during his 11-year career. In 2015, however, Hawthorne was shifted to the weak side in favor of rookie Stephone Anthony, but was then benched, declared inactive, and ultimately released after an unproductive season.
Hawthorne played under Rob Ryan — who is now an assistant head coach with the Bills — during the past three seasons in New Orleans. Rob and Rex Ryan don’t play the exact same scheme, but the fronts are similar enough that Hawthorne should feel comfortable adapting in his new role.
Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) first reported the signing. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.