The Buffalo Bills will have some veteran help for their playoff game against the Miami Dolphins, calling up one of quarterback Josh Allen’s favorite targets from the practice squad.
The team announced on January 14 that wide receiver John Brown was elevated for Sunday’s Super Wild Card game, giving Allen a familiar weapon. Brown was the team’s leading receiver in the 2019 season, and came back to the team in November.
John Brown Set to Play in Fifth Playoff Game WIth Buffalo Bills
Brown was a key part of Buffalo’s breakthrough in 2019, when they finished with 10 wins for the first time since the 1999 season. Brown led the team with 72 catches for 1,060 yards with six touchdowns, becoming one of Allen’s favorite deep threats.
Brown’s role diminished in 2020 as Stefon Diggs joined the Bills, and he left following that season and spent time with three different teams in 2021. He remained a free agent through November of this season, when the Bills brough him back.
Allen praised the move at the time, saying he believed Brown still had a lot to contribute.
“It’s good to see Smoke back, it’s good to have him back,” Allen said of Brown’s return. “We love him in this locker room. We’ve missed him the last year. It’s a veteran presence who knows our offense.
“He can still play too. I don’t know really what the plan is, it’s not up to me. But it’s a guy I trust, I’ve got a lot of familiarity with, a guy that I can rely on so it’s good to have him back.”
Allen showed off that trust in the season finale, connecting with Brown on a 42-yard touchdown in a win over the New England Patriots.
Brown and Allen have turned in some memorable plays in the playoffs before as well. Allen’s first career playoff touchdown was actually a reception thrown by Brown against the Houston Texans on Buffalo’s opening drive, a game the Bills would later lose in overtime.
Another Buffalo Bills Veteran Joins Roster
Brown is not the only wide receiver to return to the Bills this season. The team also convinced slot receiver Cole Beasley to come out of retirement in December. He initially joined the practice squad, but this week the team signed him to the active roster.
Both Brown and Beasley could have the chance to play significant roles against the Dolphins, as fellow veteran Isaiah McKenzie was listed on the injury report. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk noted, the move to sign Beasley to the active roster could be a sign that McKenzie is in danger of missing the game.
“McKenzie was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury and then missed the final two days of practice this week,” Alper wrote. “The Bills signed Cole Beasley to the active roster this week and he could see more time if McKenzie is ultimately unable to play.”
Beasley has played a limited role in two games with the Bills this season, making two catches for 18 yards.