The Buffalo Bills continued to shake things up with their roster ahead of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. On Tuesday, January 17, the Bills announced that they released wide receiver Tanner Gentry from the practice squad and signed Dezmon Patmon, who last played for the Indianapolis Colts.
Gentry, who’s been best friends with Bills quarterback Josh Allen since they were teammates in Wyoming, was called up to the active roster twice throughout the regular season, but after Buffalo brought back veteran receivers Cole Beasley and John ‘Smoke’ Brown, the 28-year-old’s number was no longer called.
Before the start of the Bills’ postseason, Beasley was signed to the active roster, which appeared to be a strategic move. While there’s no limit to how many times a player can be called up from the practice squad during the playoffs, only two players can be elevated per game.
While it must be a tough blow not being an official part of the Bills squad during their journey to the Super Bowl, it’s highly unlikely this is the last we’ve seen of Gentry. The receiver has already been released and re-signed twice since training camp, and has admirably proved to be a key figure of moral support to Allen whether he’s on the team or not.
In March 2021, Gentry, a former undrafted free agent who started his NFL career with the Chicago Bears, acknowledged that Allen was a huge part of him even getting a chance to play in Buffalo. “I know Josh had a little bit to do with it,” Gentry told Buffalo Fanatics. “The fact that they brought me on and gave me a chance to even get me in the door and show what I can do, it means the world to me and I’m ready to make the most of it.”
In other moves on Tuesday, the Bills signed defensive tackle Cortez Broughton to the practice squad and released linebacker Joe Giles-Harris.
Patmon Spent 3 Seasons With the Colts
Patmon was drafted by the Colts in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Washington State alum, who’s spent the bulk of his NFL young career on their practice squad, appeared in one game this season. During the Colts’ 24-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, Patmon caught 2-of-6 targets for 24 yards, per Pro Football Reference. Indianapolis, a team that made the controversial move to make Jeff Saturday their head coach in November, finished the season with a 4-12-1 record.
CBS Sports analyst Chris Trespasso called the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder a “unique receiver” on Tuesday, and referred back to his assessment of the prospect back in 2020. Trapasso described Patmon at the time as a “tall, built linear burner. Impressive suddenness and ability to get off the line. Pretty explosive and has great long speed… deep niche sleeper.”
Patmon will have at least one familiar face in Buffalo, as the Bills acquired Colts’ running back and punt-returner Nyehim Hines just before the NFL’s November 1 trade deadline.
The Bills are Considered Favorites to Defeat the Bengals
While it’s not clear how or if the Bills plan to use Patmon this season, Buffalo’s attention this week is laser-focused on playing the game that never was, a matchup against the Bengals.
Buffalo’s narrow 34-31 win over the Dolphins was not pretty by any means, especially considering they were playing against a team they were deemed 13-point favorites to beat, nor did it exactly inspire confidence in Buffalo’s postseason run. However, the Bills are considered 4.5-point favorites to defeat the Bengals on Sunday, January 22.
Much like the Bills, Cincinnati struggled way harder than expected to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 24-17, a team led by backup quarterback Tyler Huntley.
Patmon was a 6th round pick the Bills aren’t going to use him in the postseason. There is a reason why a guy lasts until the 6th round, the majority of the time it’s because they stink. The exceptions are few and far between, no reason to get excited about him. (Next year’s training camp fodder).