The Buffalo Bills have a new team leader in receptions among wide receivers.
Deonte Thompson comes to the Bills after spending the first five weeks of the 2017 season with the Chicago Bears. During that time, he made 11 catches for 125 yards and one touchdown.
Those 11 catches are one more than Jordan Matthews has with the Bills this year, a sign of just how little the team has got out of its wideouts.
Thompson could get an opportunity to contribute as soon as this Sunday, when the Bills host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Era Field.
“I like his speed. You look at what he did in his time in Chicago, you see the ability to separate and the speed element is certainly a factor there,” coach Sean McDermott said. “Then how physical he is and his willingness to block in the run game and also play special teams. Felt like it was a good addition.”
Thompson is actually back with the Bills. He spent one game with the team in 2014 and then training camp with the team in 2015, but didn’t survive final cuts. He has been in Chicago since that time, making 35 catches for 455 yards and three touchdowns. He also served as the Bears’ primary kick returner, taking back 60 balls for 1,442 yards. His release Oct. 11 came as a shock.
“It came out of nowhere. I wasn't expecting that,” he said. “I really don't know what happened. I wish them the best, and I landed in a great situation.”
Thompson has known Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor since high school. The pair played together in the U.S. All-American game, and were later teammates with the Baltimore Ravens.
“We've played a lot of ball together,” Thompson said. “Almost three years in Baltimore doing the scout team. We came up through the trenches. It's just a blessing man, to reconnect with a guy like that. That helps, especially mid season coming to a new team.”
Thompson has spent extra time with receivers coach Phil McGeoghan this week learning the scheme.
“Comfortable with his ability, I know his strengths, and excited to have him on board,” Taylor said. “Anytime you have a friend that you know, that you can play with, it’s definitely exciting what he can bring to this offense. We have to bring him along slowly, of course it’s a learning curve for him as well, but we’ll try to get him out there when we can.”
Hopefully you didn't rush out to buy a Tyrell Adams jersey.
The linebacker claimed off waivers by the Bills on Wednesday failed his physical and was waived/injured by the team Thursday. In response, the Bills brought back linebacker Deon Lacey, who had been released Wednesday to make room for Adams. Lacey has played in all five games this season, mostly on special teams, and has three tackles.
There was one change to the Bills' injury report Thursday with the addition of left guard Richie Incognito, who had a veteran rest day. He should be back at practice Friday and fine for the game. Tight end Charles Clay (knee) and linebacker Ramon Humber (thumb) also did not practice and won't play Sunday.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews (thumb) was a limited participant. McDermott told reporters afterward that Matthews hasn't taken as many team reps as the team would have hoped, so his availability for Sunday could go right up to game time.
Cornerbacks E.J. Gaines (groin) and Leonard Johnson (hamstring) were full practice participants, as was left tackle Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle).