Agent: Buffalo Bills agree to sign linebacker Brandon Spikes
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Linebacker Brandon Spikes is getting an opportunity to resume his NFL career after signing with the injury-depleted Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The Bills also signed veteran linebacker David Hawthorne and tight end Jimmay Mundine in a series of moves made during their day off following the first week of training camp.
Buffalo freed up space on the roster by releasing cornerback Javier Arenas and receiver Gary Chambers, and placing linebacker Kevin Reddick on waived/injured.
The additions did not come as a surprise. On Saturday, coach Rex Ryan said the Bills were bringing in a number of linebackers for tryouts to shore up a thin position.
Rookie Reggie Ragland, a projected starter, hurt his left knee on Friday, and his status remains uncertain. On Saturday, Ryan said the team's medical staff was still waiting for the swelling to subside before it can determine the severity of the injury.
Reddick hurt his knee last week, while Jamari Lattimore is expected to return to practice on Monday after missing several sessions with a broken nose.
Spikes gets a second chance in Buffalo after playing for the Bills in 2014. And it's a second chance at a playing career for Spikes, who missed all of last season because of a legal issue.
Spikes was sentenced to a year of probation in July 2015 after pleading guilty in a hit-and-run crash in which three people suffered minor injuries. The crash led to Spikes being released by New England only a few weeks after he signed to rejoin the Patriots.
The 28-year-old Spikes spent his first four seasons in New England after being selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2010 draft. He is regarded as a hard-hitting player whose specialty is defending against the run.
The 31-year-old Hawthorne has eight seasons of NFL experience, including the previous four in New Orleans. He is reunited with former Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who is on twin brother Rex Ryan's staff in Buffalo.
Hawthorne had five starts in 11 games last year before being cut by the Saints in December. Overall, he has 83 starts in 111 career games, including his first four seasons in Seattle.
The Bills are also thin at outside linebacker, with rookie first-round pick Shaq Lawson expected to miss at least the first month of the season after having shoulder surgery in May. Veteran Manny Lawson is expected to miss most of the preseason because of a partially torn pectoral muscle.
Mundine was an undrafted rookie free agent last year, and signed with New England before being cut before the start of the regular season. In 45 games at Kansas, he had 86 catches for 1,082 yards and 11 touchdowns.
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