Bills cut five, place Chris Hariston on NFI list to get down to 75-player limit
The Bills released five players, with rookie wide receivers Da’Rick Rogers headlining the group. The 22-year-old failed to make an impact in Buffalo, in an attempt to make a fresh start coming off a troubled college career. As a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Rogers led the Volunteers with 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. However, he transferred to Tennessee Tech last summer, after the Volunteers suspended hi indefinitely for violating team rules. Rogers acknowledged that the suspension was the result of him failing multiple drug tests at Tennessee.
While few deny Rogers’ talent, he went undrafted in April since teams were cautious of his troubling past. However, when the Bills picked up Rogers just hours after the draft, many though the team had found a diamond in the rough. Rogers flashed his ability from time to time in training camp but Bills coach Doug Marrone noted last week that the player lacked consistency.
“With Da’Rick you see a lot of potential out there where he can go ahead and make plays and physically beat people,” Marrone said. ”Then other times he’s getting down a little bit or maybe feeling a little sorry for himself. Whatever it may be then you don’t see that consistency in him (right now).”
Wide receiver DeMarci Sampson, cornerback Jumal Rolle, center Ryan Turnely and safety Dominique Ellis were the other our players released as part of Bills’ first-round of roster cuts early Monday. However, those moves only brought the roster closer to 76 players. So, in order to get down to the 75-player roster limit, the Bills needed to make another move.
That move happened earlier Tuesday when the Bills placed offensive tackle Chris Hariston on the reserve/ non-football injury list. Hariston was as expected to compete for the starting job on the right side of the Bills' offensive line, but will now remain out for the rest of the season. He is ineligible to return since he suffered the illness after the start of the Bills’ training camp, according to reports.
Hariston missed all of training camp while on the team’s active/physically unable to perform list, but was spotted working on the sidelines with a Bills’ trainer recently.
In Hariston’s absence, Erik Pears emerges as the likely start of the right side of the Bills’ offensive line, with Thomas Welch serving as the team’s "swing tackle" – the primary backup behind Pears as well as starting left tackle Cordy Glen.
Meanwhile, Jarius Byrd – who would be technically regarded as the 76th player on Bills’ roster – will not count against the 75-player limit since the NFL granted the team a roster exemption as he rejoins after a lengthy holdout.