While losing cornerback Tre’Davious White is a gut-punch type of loss for the Buffalo Bills defense, the team wasted no time in finding outside help to add depth to the position.
On Tuesday, October 3, the Bills announced they signed cornerback Herb Miller, who earned a Super Bowl ring during his tenure with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to the practice squad. In order to facilitate the move, Buffalo released wide receiver Marcell Atemen.
Miller, who went undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2019, had a brief stint with the Kansas City Chiefs before signing with the Buccaneers, where the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder regularly bounced between the active roster and the practice squad. He appeared in four regular season games during Tampa Bay’s journey to the Super Bowl in 2020, recording five tackles and an interception over four games.
In September 2021, he joined the Cleveland Browns practice squad, where he appeared in 13 regular season games over two seasons, recording six total tackles and a 48-yard return off a fumble recovery.
While the Carolina Panthers signed Miller, 25, to a reserve/futures deal in January, he was waived before the 2023 NFL season started, which didn’t exactly impress Bills Mafia. One fan posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “So he got cut by this year’s panthers?? Nice nice,” while another person commented, “I know it’s going to be ps, but come on Beane, get someone that can help us.”
The Bills Already Had 2 Cornerbacks on the Practice Squad
After Bills head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that White tore his Achilles and would miss the rest of the season during a press conference on October 2, he didn’t rule out signing a free agent cornerback or facilitating a trade in order to add depth at the position.
However, he noted, “We remain confident in the guys we have in our building, whether they’re active or, in this case, a practice squad guy.” The Bills have two cornerbacks on their practice squad, Kyron Brown and Ja’Marcus Ingram.
While Christian Benford and Dane Jackson look to be the Bills’ starting corners, and Kaiir Elam should be active in a reserve role, WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio is hoping Ingram, a former undrafted free agent out of Buffalo, gets his number called.
Capaccio posted on Tuesday, “If Bills plan on adding another DB to roster, I’d like to see JaMarcus Ingram. Love what I saw from @UBFootball product in camp. Long, athletic, has traits to play CB & S… Bills don’t *have* to add a DB. They’ve been rolling with 2 inactive on gameday.”
However, with superstar linebacker Von Miller’s return coming as early as this week, signing Ingram to the 53-man roster creates a numbers problem. Capaccio wrote, “With Von coming back soon, (Ingram) could take White’s roster spot. Decision will be if they want to keep 11 DL (6 DE). If not, who is out? If it’s Kingsley Jonathan he could get claimed. That’s risky.”
Kaiir Elam Has Yet to Prove Himself as a Starter
Before the season started, Benford, the Bills’ sixth-round pick from the 2022 NFL draft, won the starting job opposite White, while Taron Johnson remained in the nickel slot. With Jackson’s ability to contribute on special teams, Elam, their first-round pick of the 2022 NFL draft, was unexpectedly the odd man out. He’s been a healthy scratch for the past four weeks.
While White’s season-ending injury seemingly opened the door for Elam to step up, McDermott did not commit to the Florida alum getting immediate the nod.
“I mean it’s a long year. So we always talk about needing more than just 53 and when your number is called you need to be both physically and mentally ready to go… In this case with Kaiir, it’s an opportunity. It’s how you handle it now, right? He will be in the mix and we’ll see where it goes.”
When McDermott was asked if he’s expected more from Elam at this point, “I think when there’s good competition it makes it hard,” he said. “There are no free passes here. You know how we do things. No matter where you’re picked or what you’re paid, you have to earn your spot.
“Just because he hasn’t been active doesn’t mean we’re not confident in Kaiir. We’re extremely confident in Kaiir. To this point, just a few players have outperformed him. So, now his chance could come. We’ll see where it goes. But it’s important he has a good week of practice this week and we’ll see where that leads us to before the game.”