The Buffalo Bills added an intriguing player at wide receiver Monday afternoon.
The Bills claimed Leonard Hankerson off waivers from the New England Patriots. They made room for him on the 53-man roster by placing wide receiver Marcus Easley on injured reserve because of a knee injury suffered Sunday against Dallas.
Hankerson, 26, is a former third-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 2011. He spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Washington before joining the Atlanta Falcons prior to the start of this year. He played in eight games with the Falcons and put up decent numbers – 26 catches, 327 yards and three touchdowns – but a hamstring injury eventually landed him on injured reserve.
Hankerson reached an injury settlement with the Falcons earlier this month and was picked up by the Patriots. He played 10 snaps in a Week 15 game against Tennessee, but did not make any catches. According to a report from the NFL Network, the Patriots hoped to re-sign Hankerson if he cleared waivers. The Bills made sure that didn't happen.
Hankerson, a 6-foot-2, 211-pounder, has 107 catches for 1,408 yards and nine touchdowns in his career. He tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee during the 2013 season, and never fully recovered from the injury, playing just one game in 2014. The Bills will have to find out whether the promising start to this season was what Hankerson can be, or was just a brief stretch of good play.