Bills bulk up defensive front by signing Linval Joseph and place cornerback Kaiir Elam on IR

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills bulked up their injury-depleted defensive front by signing veteran tackle Linval Joseph on Thursday.

The Bills made room on their roster by placing underperforming cornerback Kaiir Elam on injured reserve because of an ankle injury. It’s unclear when Elam was hurt; he was inactive in Buffalo’s last game. The 2022 first-round draft pick will miss a minimum of four games.

The 35-year-old Joseph has been out of football since becoming a free agent in March after finishing last season with Philadelphia. He started all eight regular-season and three playoff games, including the Super Bowl, which the Eagles lost to Kansas City.

The player listed at 6-foot-4 and 329 pounds fills an immediate hole in Buffalo after starter DaQuan Jones tore his pectoral muscle in a 25-20 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 8. Jones is on injured reserve, and it’s unclear whether he can return this season.

Joseph, who is from the U.S. Virgin Islands, has 13 seasons of NFL experience, with 170 starts in 179 career games. He spent his first four seasons with the New York Giants and played for six seasons with Minnesota and two with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Elam’s injury is the latest setback for a second-year player who has had difficulty establishing his role in Buffalo. He spent most of last season splitting starting duties with fellow rookie Christian Benford before losing the starting job to him this season.

Elam was inactive for Buffalo’s first four games before getting two starts after Tre’Davious White tore his right Achilles tendon.

The Bills (5-3), who play at Cincinnati (4-3) on Sunday night), have since upgraded their cornerback depth by acquiring Rasul Douglas in a trade with Green Bay on Tuesday.

General manager Brandon Beane acknowledged the possibility of Elam landing on IR a day earlier when assessing the struggles of the player selected 23rd overall out of Florida.

“I’ve gone back and looked at his college stuff, and I see it. I know what’s in there. We just got to get it out of him,” Beane said. “We got to get his confidence up and make sure he gets back to 100%. … I look at it as a young player, and you don’t give up on young players.”