Bills Sign Former Cowboys, Jaguars Pass Rusher to Practice Squad

Takkarist-McKinley-Eli-Ankou

Getty Takkarist McKinley of the Atlanta Falcons and Eli Ankou of the Jacksonville Jaguars following a preseason game in 2019.

With starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei still on the COVID-19/reserve list, the Buffalo Bills reportedly made a move on Monday to potentially alleviate that absence.

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As noted by Bills beat and sideline reporter Sal Capaccio, Ankou was with Buffalo for parts of training camp this past summer. The 27-year-old was originally signed by the Bills on June 22, but was cut on August 15.

Following a four-year career at UCLA, Ankou went undrafted in 2017 but was signed by the Houston Texans on May 12 of that year.


Ankou Has Appeared in Games With 4 Teams in 5 Seasons

Eli-Ankou

GettyCleveland Browns defensive tackle Eli Ankou during a game against the Arizona Cardinals in 2019.

Ankou was eventually claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars from the Texans in September 2017 and would spend his first two NFL seasons with the Jags. In nine games during his rookie year, Ankou recorded what are still career-highs across the board with 15 tackles, two quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks and one tackle for a loss.

In 2018, the Canadian appeared in just two games and made four tackles. Ankou was cut by Jacksonville just prior to the beginning of the 2019 season, then added to their practice squad and was then signed by the Cleveland Browns in October 2019.

Ankou played in nine games with the Browns that season – making his first two career starts – and had seven tackles. The tackle was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts from the Browns in September 2020 and was inactive during the first five weeks of the season before being waived.

Ankou rejoined the Texans briefly after they claimed him off of waivers from the Colts, but he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in early November. In seven games with Dallas last season, Ankou posted five tackles.

After he wasn’t re-signed by the Cowboys in the off-season, Ankou was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons in May 2021, before being grabbed by the Bills, then cut, then signed by Falcons again, before released again. Ankou was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad last month, but released one week later.

Prior to rejoining the Bills on Monday, Ankou had most recently been signed to the Tennessee Titans practice squad, played in the team’s week eight Halloween day game against the Indianapolis Colts and made three tackles. He was released by the Titans on November 1.


How Much Longer Will Star Lotulelei Be out For?

Star-Lotulelei-Lev-Bell

GettyBuffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei tackles New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell during a game in 2019.

The Carolina Panthers 14th overall pick from 2013, Star Lotulelei’s 2021 season got off to a bumpy start. After opting out of the 2020 NFL season – his third with the Buffalo organization – Lotulelei was among five players sent home in late August from team practice facility due to COVID-19 protocols.

Prior to the 2020 campaign, Lotulelei had played in 64 consecutive regular season games. The 31-year-old also had a delay to the 2021 season when he missed week one with a calf injury, but he suited up for weeks two through nine before sitting out the week 10 blowout over the New York Jets while on the COVID-19/reserve list.

According to Capaccio, Lotulelei was put on the list on Sunday and will not be available for the team’s week 11 meeting against the Indianapolis Colts.

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