The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be looking into signing Ray Rice in an effort to help their injury-ridden backfield.
The team’s top tailback, LeSean McCoy, went down in practice on Tuesday with a hamstring injury, ESPN noted. He is now the fifth running back out with an injury for the Bills, joining Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon, Bryce Brown, and Karlos Williams.
With the team down to just undrafted rookies Bronson Hill and Ricky Seale, rumors are growing that the Bills are looking into signing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice to get them through training camp.
With LeSean McCoy out a few weeks, the Bills have begun internal discussions on whether to explore signing Ray Rice, sources say.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 19, 2015
The signing would seem to make sense for the Bills. Rice has a history with Buffalo coach Rex Ryan, from Ryan’s time as a Ravens assistant coach, and Rex has shown a penchant for bringing back his former players. Installing Rice would also give the Bills a veteran presence through the preseason and take some pressure off other players.
Rice has been linked to a handful of other teams this preseason. After the Cleveland Browns running backs have failed to stand out this year in training camp, coach Mike Pettine said the team discussed the idea of signing Rice.
Rice already has connections in Cleveland. The Browns’ running backs coach, Wilbert Montgomery, was Rice’s position coach in Baltimore from 2008 until 2013.
“Of course it’s a natural question here because of Wilbert, and because I was with Ray when he was a Ravens rookie and know a lot of people in Baltimore,” coach Mike Pettine told SI.com. “Obviously Wilbert was his position coach for Ray’s first six years in the league. I’m not going to say it didn’t come up in discussion, but at this point we’re not there yet.”
If the Buffalo Bills did sign Ray Rice, it’s not clear how long he would remain with the team. The Bills already have a crowded backfield, with LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson expected to serve as No. 1 and No. 2 and Karlos Williams giving an impressive showing. Boobie Dixon is also likely guaranteed a roster spot due to his special teams presence, with Bryce Brown the only one on the bubble.
If the rumors are true and the Buffalo Bills do sign Ray Rice, the move could come soon. The team is set to play its second preseason game on Thursday night.
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