The Buffalo Bills (7-5) needs all the help they can get before taking on quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3) in Week 14, so it’s great news that guard Jon Feliciano was officially activated from injured reserve to play on Sunday, December 12.
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In order to make room for Feliciano on the 53-man roster, the Bills waived guard Jamil Douglas, who initially signed a one-year contract with Buffalo in April, his sixth NFL team in seven years. Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Dolphins, Douglas earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the New England Patriots during their comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in 2017.
As for Feliciano, he has been out since Week 8, when he suffered a calf injury while playing against the Miami Dolphins on October 31. The versatile veteran, who’s started at both right and left guard this season, should provide a boost to the Bills’ struggling offensive line.
According to Pro Football Focus, Feliciano carries a 59.1 offensive grade in 430 snaps this season, though he’s been a tick stronger in the run game (60.7). He has also finished as the 39th highest-rated guard in football over the past two seasons.
The 29-year-old veteran returned to practice last Tuesday, which meant the team had 21 days to elevate him back to the active roster. Feliciano did not play during the Bills frustrating 14-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, and his return should provide quarterback Josh Allen more protection against the Buccaneers defense.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott is ready to turn things around on Sunday but knows beating the Bucs will be no easy feat. “We definitely have to continue to make adjustments and improve some of the things that we’re doing,” McDermott said, via the team’s official website. “But the season’s still out there for us right now and we’ve got a big test, a big challenge this week going down to Tampa.”
The Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shared a similar sentiment. “When you got a dual-threat quarterback like Josh, it’s not easy,” Arians shared. “I mean they’re in empty sets and you’re expecting passes and they got quarterback powers and quarterback counters. He’s their leading rusher just about and then he can sling it around all those great receivers he has. So it is a really big challenge defensively for us.”
3 Defensive Players Elevated From the Practice Squad to Play in Week 14
The Bills kept shaking up their roster ahead of Sunday’s matchup in Tampa Bay, calling up linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, defensive tackles Brandin Bryant and Eli Ankou from the practice squad.
This is the second time Bryant has been elevated to the active roster in three weeks. He was initially called up during the Bills game against the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving Day, during which Buffalo absolutely dominated in a 31-6 victory.
2 Players Have Already Been Ruled Out vs. Tampa Bay
Two days before the Bills face the Buccaneers, two players were preemptively ruled out from playing in Week 14: Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and tight end Tommy Sweeney.
Lotulelei, 31, missed three consecutive weeks due to COVID-19 but returned to play against the Patriots last week. However, a toe injury will keep him out in Week 14. Sweeney, who stepped in as a starter while tight end Dawson Knox was out with a hand injury, has been ruled out due to a hip injury.