With playoff hopes all but gone, the Buffalo Bills have placed cornerback Stephon Gilmore on season-ending injured reserve.
Gilmore injured his shoulder in Buffalo's 30-21 win over the Houston Texans on Dec. 6 and missed the loss last weekend at Philadelphia. It's a frustrating end to what was a career season for the fourth-year pro. Gilmore finishes with 36 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defensed. Among all AFC defensive backs, Gilmore ranks fourth in the NFL in passes defensed (50) since the Bills drafted him in 2012.
Beyond the field, Gilmore embraced more of a leadership role in the secondary, in taking rookie Ronald Darby under his wing.
He's under contract through the 2016 season. Buffalo picked up the fifth-year option on Gilmore's contract, worth $11 million. Buffalo must now decide, at some point, whether to lock up Gilmore long term at a premium position. With his 2015 season, his price tag certainly is rising.
Gilmore has been one of the most cerebral players on the team, breaking down how he does his job back in August.
For the rest of the season, Buffalo now forges ahead with Darby and Leodis McKelvin at cornerback. Mario Butler backs them up with Ron Brooks working through the team's concussion protocol.
Taking Gilmore's spot on the 53-man roster defensive end Max Valles to the roster, off of Oakland's practice squad.