The hits keep coming for the Bills’ secondary. Veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who signed with Buffalo just a few days ago, has been placed on the team’s practice squad injured list (Twitter link via ESPN’s Field Yates). Head coach Sean McDermott said that Rhodes sustained a hamstring injury (Twitter link via Chris Brown of OneBillsLive).
Buffalo’s top corner, two-time Pro Bowler Tre’Davious White, began the season on the PUP list and will therefore miss at least one more game as he continues to recover from an ACL tear. Fellow starter Dane Jackson suffered a neck injury in Week 2, and rookie Christian Benford fractured his hand during last Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins. That is not to mention safety Micah Hyde‘s season-ending neck injury or safety Jordan Poyer‘s foot ailment, which kept him out of the Miami contest and which rendered him questionable for the Bills’ Week 4 matchup against the Ravens.
The practice squad injured list operates under the same rules as the injured reserve. In other words, Rhodes will be forced to miss at least the next four games, at which point there may no longer be a roster spot for him. Indeed, Jackson returned to practice this week and is expected to suit up for the Baltimore game, as Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic tweets. The hope is that White will return shortly, and while Benford will miss time, he could nonetheless beat Rhodes back to the field.
Furthermore, even though Rhodes is on the taxi squad injured list, his activation from that list would still count as one of the Bills’ eight “return from IR” designations. It is possible that the team would elect against using such a designation on a player that had minimal practice time and never appeared in a game.
Rhodes, therefore, could be a free agent again in a few weeks and could be of interest to another team in need of secondary depth.