Bills rookie Shaq Lawson to miss first 6 weeks of season
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills rookie linebacker Shaq Lawson will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season.
The Bills placed their first-round draft pick on the reserve/physically unable to perform list Tuesday as part of a series of moves trim their roster to the NFL-maximum 75 players. Lawson only began working out on his own two weeks ago since having shoulder surgery in May to repair an injury that nagged him at Clemson.
The designation means the pass-rushing specialist must sit out the first six weeks of the season before he can begin practicing. The Bills would then have five weeks to determine whether to activate him or place him on the season-ending injured/reserve list.
Veteran receiver Marcus Easley, who is still recuperating from a season-ending knee injury last year, was also placed on the same list as Lawson.
Buffalo also added a player to address its pass-rushing and special teams depth by acquiring linebacker Lerentee McCray in trade with Green Bay. In exchange, the Bills gave up an undisclosed pick in the 2018 draft.
At 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds, McCray spent his first two seasons with Denver before signing with Green Bay this past offseason. He was used mostly on special teams in 24 games with the Broncos.
McCray became the odd man out in Green Bay in losing a backup job behind converted defensive lineman Datone Jones and Jayrone Elliott.
In other moves, Buffalo released nine players, including receiver Greg Little and linebackers David Hawthorne and Eric Striker. The Bills signed Striker as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma and after he gained attention by making an emotionally uplifting speech to his family and friends about not being selected.
Striker tearfully thanked everyone for being with him through the draft process, and assured them he will persevere.
Tight end Chris Gragg was one of three players placed on waived/injured, four days after he tore a ligament in his left knee in a 21-16 preseason loss at Washington. Cornerback Jonathan Dowling and offensive tackle Justin Renfrow were also waived/injured.
The Bills also cut defensive tackles Alameda Ta’amu and Justin Zimmer, quarterback Austin Trainor, tight end Jimmay Mundine, center Robert Kugler and long-snapper Reid Ferguson. The Bills signed Trainor on Monday as insurance in the event a sore shoulder would prevent third-string quarterback Cardale Jones from playing in Buffalo’s preseason finale at Detroit on Thursday night.
Rookie second-round pick, linebacker Reggie Ragland, was placed on reserve/injured three weeks after sustaining a season-ending knee injury. Rookie sixth-round pick, receiver Kolby Listenbee, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. He’s still recovering from offseason groin surgery.
AP Sports Writer Genaro Armas in Green Bay, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.
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