Devonta Freeman Signs Bills Practice Squad Contract After Zack Moss' Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2021

New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman (31) runs against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills signed veteran running back Devonta Freeman to their practice squad Tuesday after rookie rusher Zack Moss suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Saturday's playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Drew Rosenhaus, Freeman's agent, confirmed the signing to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 28-year-old Florida State product signed with the New York Giants in late September to provide backfield depth after Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL. He made five appearances (four starts) for the G-Men before landing on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

New York waived him off IR last week following the conclusion of its regular season, which made him available to sign with a playoff team.

Freeman rushed for 172 yards on 54 carries (3.2 YPC) with one touchdown during his time with the Giants. He added seven catches for 58 yards.

The 2014 fourth-round pick's numbers have trended downward since he was limited to two appearances in 2018 because of knee, foot and groin injuries. Groin surgery ultimately brought that season to an end.

He'd previously earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 and 2016. He scored 35 touchdowns in the three-year span from 2015 through 2017 for Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Moss split backfield duties with Devin Singletary in Buffalo throughout his first NFL season. He finished with 576 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in 13 regular-season games. He had 47 total yards in the win over the Colts before leaving with the ankle injury.

Singletary is likely to receive a lion's share of the backfield snaps for the remainder of the Bills' playoff run. Taiwan Jones also figures to remain active for his key contributions on special teams.

That leaves one spot on the active gameday roster for Freeman, third-down specialist T.J. Yeldon or rookie Antonio Williams, who rushed for 63 yards and two TDs in the team's Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins with Buffalo resting some players for the postseason.

Given Yeldon's ability to help in the passing game both as a receiver out of the backfield and as a pass blocker, he may have the inside edge in what could quickly become an offensive shootout with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.

That said, with snow showers in The Weather Channel forecast for Saturday night, Buffalo could call an audible to Freeman or Williams depending on the conditions.