Veteran wide receiver David Clowney was among nine players released by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Also released: linebacker Danny Batten, defensive end Sean Ferguson, cornerback Prince Miller, tight end Fendi Onobun, defensive tackle Jay Ross, receiver Derek Session, safety Nick Sukay and guard Jake Vermiglio. Sukay, Vermiglio, Ross, Onobun and Ferguson all dressed but did not play in Saturday’s exhibition game.
The Bills also announced tight end Mike Caussin was moved to the reserve physically unable to perform list, while safety Josh Nesbitt was released from the injured reserve list. Caussin will not count toward the Bills’ roster total and is out for at least the first six games. He is eligible to begin practicing between the end of Week Six and the end of Week Nine of the regular season. At that point the Bills would have to decide whether to activate him or put him on the injured reserve list.
The moves get the Bills down to the NFL’s 75-man roster limit for this week. All NFL teams must trim down from 75 to 53 players on the active roster by 9 p.m. Friday, a day after Buffalo’s exhibition finale in Detroit.
Clowney had the most experience of the players released. He’s a three-year veteran who has played in 28 NFL games, but he had too many young players ahead of him on the Bills’ receiver depth chart.
Batten, a sixth-round pick in 2010, was the lone Bills draft pick among the cuts. He played in all 16 games last season, mostly on special teams.
Leodis McKelvin looked good returning punts against the Steelers. McKelvin returned four for a 10.8-yard average. He had an 18-yarder to give the Bills possession at midfield and a 10-yarder to put the Bills at the Pittsburgh 49.
“This time I got some chances with the ball in my hands more than I did the previous two games,” McKelvin said. “I just wanted to do my job, get good field position for the offense.”
McKelvin had only eight returns last season, but one of them went for an 80-yard touchdown. He’s hoping to be the full-time punt return man this season.
“We got a lot of guys who can do the job,” he said. “But I feel strongly that when the ball’s in my hands, me being able to make one cut and get past that first wave. I can really be very dangerous. Going back to when I was in college I was very dangerous on punt returns, being able to get my team in great field position. So I’m trying to get back in that mode and get back in that punt return atmosphere.”
“Pittsburgh is very aggressive,” McKelvin said of the Steelers’ coverage teams. “They want you to widen out. Once you widen, if you see a hole you’ve got to take it and get as many yards as you can. Once you get past that first wave, everything else is just cupcakes – it’s easy.”