Ex-Bills Defensive Tackle Teases Return to Team in Cryptic Post

Buffalo Bills defense

Getty Matt Milano and Eli Ankou tackle Miami Dolphins running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

The Buffalo Bills appear to be bringing in some reinforcement for their depleted defensive line.

Former Bills defensive lineman Eli Ankou, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons on October 24, teased a return to the team in a cryptic post.

“Back to our regularly scheduled programming,” Ankou shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. He concluded the post with a Buffalo emoji and a laughing face.

Reporter Ryan Talbot of Syracuse.com confirmed Ankou’s anticipated return to the Bills.

Per source, Eli Ankou will be signing with the #Bills’ practice squad pending a physical tomorrow morning,” Talbot wrote on X. “Ankou all but confirmed the news himself with his latest tweet as well.”

The move will help the Bills add depth at a position that had been hit hard by injuries, with the team facing the pressure of a short week before facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. It was not clear if the 29-year-old Ankou would join the team in time for the game.

Veteran Tackle Back for Another Stint in Buffalo

Ankou first came to the Bills in the 2021 offseason, competing for a spot in training camp before being released in August. After spending time with three other teams that season, Ankou returned to the Bills in November. He was back on the practice squad in 2022 and signed a reserve/future contract in January, but was released in August and had signed with the Falcons.

Ankou could provide some important depth for the Bills, who lost defensive tackle DaQuan Jones to a torn pectoral muscle and were without Ed Oliver in the team’s October 22 loss to the New England Patriots.

The homecoming could be a happy one for Ankou and his family. When he left the Bills for the Falcons earlier this season, Ankou’s fiancee re-shared a message from Jrue’s Holiday’s wife about the difficulty of moving from city to city.

“So relatable. It works the same way in the NFL. Prepping to move from BUF to ATL as I speak,” his fiancee, Shayna Powless, shared on Instagram.

Another Returning Bills Player Stepping Up

While Ankou is expected to join the practice squad, another returning Bills player has been stepping up on the active roster in place of Jones and Oliver. Jordan Phillips, who played two different stints in Buffalo with a two-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals squeezed in between, has picked up much of the slack.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he expects Phillips’ role to increase in the coming weeks.

“I thought last week was his best game of the season so far, and we need that because of DaQuan not being out there,” McDermott said, via WHEC-TV. “It’s important that he continues to climb because we need him to.”

Defensive line coach Eric Washington had shared some praise for Phillips in the preseason, saying he has the chance to be dominant.

“He’s a dominant player when he’s healthy,” Washington said. “We know what he brings to the table when he’s healthy as a run defender.”

Read More