Just as it was in 2015 with the running back position, the Buffalo Bills have seen a rash of injuries to the linebacker spot through the summer of 2016. Already without first-round pick Shaq Lawson, second-round pick Reggie Ragland, and Manny Lawson to help the defensive effort, the Bills then lost IK Enemkpali to a torn ACL suffered in Saturday's preseason game.
As a result, they have once again sought help from outside the organization. The Bills officially announced the signing of veteran free agent linebacker Kroy Biermann on Monday.
Biermann was spotted on the campus of St. John Fisher College shortly before signing his brand new contract, which ESPN reported was a one-year deal.
Kroy Biermann is here at St John Fisher College pic.twitter.com/oMpYwLbh7G
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 15, 2016
To make room for Biermann on the roster, the Bills designated Enemkpali as waived/injured.
Biermann, 30, is an eight-year veteran that spent his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons before becoming a free agent in 2016. He was relegated to a backup role in 2015, but started 15 games in the 2014 season. Over those two years, Biermann collected seven total sacks for the Falcons.
The defensive player also may be known by some for his wife's fame in the reality television realm. He is married to Kim Zolciak, formerly of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, before starring in her own show Don't Be Tardy.
Joe B's Take:
Really, at this point for the Bills, they're just looking for anyone to help them get through the first two months of the season without the likes of rookie Shaq Lawson at outside linebacker. Biermann, a player that the Bills had in for a visit a few months ago, will likely slot in and compete for a depth position at outside linebacker in Rex Ryan's scheme.
Biermann doesn't have a lot of success over the course of his career in bringing down the quarterback, having accrued only 23.5 sacks over eight seasons in the league. The way Rex Ryan brought up Lorenzo Alexander, it seems as though they would prefer if he were to focus solely on special teams -- and as it stands now, he would be the starting right outside linebacker.
In the event that Manny Lawson (pectoral injury) isn't ready to play by the start of the regular season, perhaps Biermann would be competing not only for a depth spot, but for a rotational role on defense. If both Lawson defenders are unavailable, it would be between Alexander, Biermann, Eric Striker, and Bryson Albright to pick up the slack.
No matter how you look at it, the Bills depth on defense is already being tested, and we're only one week into the preseason. The Bills need to get healthy in a hurry.