Bills Sign Former Cornerback After Stunning Jaguars Loss

Nick McCloud

Getty Nick McCloud #38 of the Buffalo Bills run a drill before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium on August 28, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.

The Buffalo Bills are not wasting time crying over what was their worst performance ever since Sean McDermott took over as head coach. The 9-6 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the worst teams in the NFL, is not an easy pill to swallow, but McDermott is already making adjustments.

The Bills announced they were bringing back a familiar face to Buffalo on Monday, cornerback Nick McCloud, signing him to the practice squad. The undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame initially joined the Bills in the spring, and despite a solid showing during preseason, catching an interception against Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton, tallying two passes defended, and 9 tackles, he failed to make the 53-man roster.

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McCloud is a special mix of size and speed, he ran a 3.46 40-yard dash while showing off a 34-inch vertical leap during his pro day. After he was let go by the Bills in September, he was quickly snatched up by the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him to their active roster.

The 6-foot, 193-pound defensive player helped fill for the Bengals’ secondary while numerous players were recovering from injuries. However, after Cincinnati activated Hakeem Adeniji from the injured reserve on Thursday, a guard who missed eight games due to a pectoral injury, and acquired cornerback Vernon Hargreaves on waivers from the Texans, they waived McCloud to make room on their roster, per Sports Illustrated.

McCloud Left Buffalo on Good Terms, Which Left the Door Open for a Possible Return

Nick McCloud

GettyNick McCloud #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the first half in the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The 23-year-old first-year NFL player was incredibly gracious after he was cut by the Bills just before the seasons started. While getting immediately picked up by the Bengals helps, McCloud sent a nice message to Buffalo following his release.

He tweeted on September 1, “Forever grateful for opportunity the Buffalo Bills gave me to display my talent!! Shoutout to Bills Mafia as well!! 🙏🏽❤️ Ready to get to work in Cincinnati!”

McCloud was incredibly grateful to sign with the Bills after going undrafted earlier this year, and his unrelenting positive outlook can only help boost the energy on Buffalo’s practice squad. He will also provide more depth at the cornerback position.

The Bills No.1 Cornerback Suffered a Concussion During the First Quarter Vs. Jaguars

Taron Johnson

GettyTaron Johnson warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bills likely looked to sign McCloud after cornerback Taron Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss. Johnson, who’s been an integral part of Buffalo’s defense since he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, was officially downgraded from questionable to out after it was revealed he had a concussion.

It’s a big loss considering Johnson, who signed a three-year, $24 million extension with the Bills last month, played 100% of the snaps during Buffalo’s 26-11 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.

A return timetable has not been revealed, but per the NFL’s concussion protocols, Johnson will not be able to return to action until he completes a five-step, return-to-participation protocol. Only when a player is symptom-free and cleared by an independent neurologist, can he return to physical activity.

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