Buffalo Bills Place Cornerback Kaiir Elam on Injured Reserve
By Alaina Getzenberg, ESPN
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills have made the decision to place cornerback Kaiir Elam on injured reserve due to a lingering ankle injury. General manager Brandon Beane stated on Wednesday that this move was necessary in order to allow the Bills’ 2022 first-round pick to fully recover and heal his ankle.
“I wouldn’t say he’s been a 100% healthy scratch, part of it has been that it hasn’t worked out perfectly in the games so far,” Beane explained. “I have confidence in Kaiir’s potential. In the past, we had a similar situation with Josh Norman when we drafted him in Carolina. It wasn’t until his third year that everything clicked, and he really excelled the following year. So, I’m still very hopeful for Kaiir.”
In a corresponding move, the Bills have signed veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who previously played for the Philadelphia Eagles and started eight games last season. This acquisition will provide much-needed depth for the Bills’ defensive line, especially after veteran DaQuan Jones suffered a quad injury and was placed on injured reserve.
According to Coach Sean McDermott, Elam aggravated his ankle injury during the team’s 14-9 victory over the New York Giants in Week 6. Although Elam did not participate in practice on Wednesday, he was a full participant leading up to Week 8, but his participation was limited in all practices leading up to Week 7.
“Kaiir is here working hard, giving his all,” Beane stated. “He’s been receiving around-the-clock treatment for his ankle and is fully committed to his recovery. Confidence plays a significant role in this game, and sometimes when things don’t go well, it can affect a player’s confidence. We will continue to support Kaiir and help him regain his confidence. We believe in his potential.”
Elam, 22, has been inactive for five games this season, including Week 8 against the Buccaneers, where Josh Norman, 35, was chosen to play special teams over Elam. In the two games Elam started, he has allowed an average of 9.6 yards per target, which is the highest among the team’s cornerbacks, according to Next Gen Stats data. He has given up 10 receptions on 14 targets for a total of 135 yards. The Bills recently traded for cornerback Rasul Douglas just before the trade deadline, as Tre’Davious White is out for the season with a torn Achilles.
“Rasul Douglas is a player with great ball production and excellent visual skills,” Coach Sean McDermott praised. “He is a physical corner who excels in tackling.”
Beane clarified that trading Elam was not considered as an option.
“Not everything has gone perfectly for Kaiir, but he is still a young player,” Beane acknowledged. “He is only halfway through his second season. After reviewing his college performance, I am confident in his abilities. We just need to bring out the best in him, boost his confidence, and ensure he returns to 100% health.”