Orchard Park, N.Y. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills are dealing with an absurd amount of injuries in the secondary only three games into the 2022 season. The latest of which is 2022 sixth-round rookie cornerback Christian Benford, who will be having surgery to repair a broken hand on Tuesday.
With the injuries to Benford, Tre'Davious White and Dane Jackson at cornerback - not to mention safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer - the Bills have added a former All-Pro cornerback, who was still available as a free agent.
After hosting veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes on a visit on Tuesday, the Bills signed him to the team's practice squad on Wednesday.
ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler added early Wednesday morning Rhodes would start on the practice squad with the option to come up to the active roster when ready.
Rhodes, 31, was a First-Team All-Pro in 2017 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, a three-time Pro Bowler, and is coming off a two-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts. His most recent Pro Bowl nomination was back in 2019.
In two seasons with the Colts, Rhodes' play began to decline, due in large part to a lack of speed. Rhodes is a big, physical cornerback, the type that often has a tough time playing in the NFL into their 30s.
According to Pro Football Focus' grade, Rhodes actually had one of his best seasons just two years ago in 2020 with the Colts. He was given a grade of 76.3, the highest of his career.
In 2021, Rhodes' Pro Football Focus grade fell to a still very respectable 61.8.
The Bills' depth at corner is so thin that undrafted rookie Ja'Marcus Ingram out of the University at Buffalo was forced into duty against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Cam Lewis has been an option for the Bills at cornerback, but because of the injuries to Hyde and Poyer, the team need him as the direct backup to both safety positions. That is, at least, until Poyer returns.
In addition, White will still miss, at least, one week until he can be eligible to practice off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
With Rhodes signed on with the Bills, he could be relied upon fairly quickly.