Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- One of the Buffalo Bills' longest tenured players has had his season cut short. Veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay has been placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve list due to a neck injury.
"I understand where Buddy and Chan are coming from," Kelsay said in response to the decision. "It doesn't do you much good having a guy taking up a roster spot that isn't on the field. I want what's best for the team, I've always approached it that way, so I understand and respect their decision. Not having gone through this before, it's frustrating, but we'll move forward."
Kelsay injured his neck during practice ahead of the Bills' game against New England in Week 10, and missed both that game and the Thursday night contest against the Miami Dolphins. The defensive end attempted to come back the next week against Indianapolis, but had his afternoon cut short by a setback of the same injury. He also missed last week's game against Jacksonville.
"He felt great when he came back to practice, and then it was just one little shot that got him again. I think we really have questions about how long this thing takes to heel," said head coach Chan Gailey. "We gave it two or three [weeks] last time and he felt great, and yet it was one little lick. So now, all of a sudden, is it four, five, six? How long do you have to wait? I think it was just one of those, we just can't wait on it to see because it's one of those unknowns really. You don't know how bad it is till he gets hit again."
In nine games played, Kelsay started four games and accrued 14 tackles and two sacks. He has two years remaining on his contract, owed base salaries of $3.725 million in 2013 and $3.745 million in 2014. His cap number for each of those years is a shade under $6 million, and is also owed $850,000 in bonuses each season if he remains with the team.
The move to end Kelsay's season along with the release of linebacker Kirk Morrison on Monday gave the Bills the ability to promote two players off their practice squad. Buffalo announces that cornerback T.J. Heath and guard Keith Williams have been elevated off the taxi squad.
In place of their two vacant spots on the practice squad, the Bills have signed offensive linemen Adam Grant and undrafted rookie J.B. Shugarts.
The Bills take on the St. Louis Rams Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.