Buffalo Bills Amp Up Roster, Sign Ex-Steelers Running Back

Kerrith Whyte

Getty Former Steelers RB Kerrith Whyte (#40) rushes the ball against the Cardinals in 2019.

The Buffalo Bills added extra insurance to their roster of running backs on Monday, August 23, signing Kerrith Whyte.

Last season, the 24-year-old was on the Detroit Lions practice squad. With the Bills, Whyte will find at least one familiar face in Buffalo. Whyte played college ball at Florida Atlantic University, where he was the backup for current Bills running back Devin Singletary, who now enters his third year with the franchise.

The 5-foot-10, 204-pound Whyte was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL draft. He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers mid-season during his rookie year, where he appeared in six games with the franchise.

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During his stint in Pittsburgh, Whyte showed himself to be a capable backup, averaging a team-high 5.1 yards per carry, per SteelersNow.com. He finished with 122 yards on 24 carries in 2019 before being released in September 2020.

Other notable running backs on the Bills roster include Zack Moss and veteran newcomer Matt Breida. It has yet to be decided who will earn the starting role for the 2021 NFL season. Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said in July that they may rotate starters.

“Whoever’s back there is playing good,” Daboll said, as reported by The Buffalo News. “Sometimes that happens. Let’s say you’re in a game and you just get a sense one guy’s got it going a little bit more than the other guy and that’s the guy you ride with a little bit … there’ll be a good competition come training camp.”

Bills Also Signed Ex-49ers Cornerback Tim Harris

Buffalo also beefed up their defensive on Monday, signing former San Francisco 49ers’ cornerback Tim Harris, who’s 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. Harris was originally drafted by the Niners in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft out of Virginia.

A groin injury kept the 26-year-old cornerback on the injured reserve during his rookie season and he only appeared in two games with the 49ers during the 2020 season. Harris was waived by San Francisco on August 4.

Bleacher Report‘s Brad Gagnon recommended the Bills add another corner to solidify their roster. Gagnon wrote on August 23, “If you can land another corner to help support star Tre’Davious White, that would be ideal.”

Buffalo Waived 1 Receiver & Placed 1 Offensive Lineman on Injured Reserve

Buffalo was able to make room for both Whyte and Harris on the 2021 roster after waiving third-year wide receiver Duke Williams and placing newly signed offensive lineman Forrest Lamp on injured reserve, per BuffaloBills.com.

Lamp, who started all 16 games for the Chargers in 2020 before signing a one-year deal with Buffalo in April, was barely able to participate in training camp due to a calf injury.

Williams “evidently suffered an undisclosed injury recently,” as reported by Bills Wire, “as he was waived via injury settlement.” As for wide receivers, Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley will serve as incumbent starters, with veteran Emmanuel Sanders and second-year man Gabriel Davis also in the mix for significant playing time.

Former Green Bay Packers wideout Jake Kumerow has also proved himself worthy of a receiver slot following a strong performance in training camp. There could be room for Marquez “Speedy” Stevenson, who ran 42 yards during the team’s August 13 preseason game against the Detroit Lions, which set up the game-winning field goal.

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