Bills sign QB Dixon to practice squad

The SportsXchange

The Buffalo Bills signed quarterback Dennis Dixon to their practice squad to add some depth because of the injury to rookie EJ Manual last week.

Manuel is expected to miss at least a month with a right knee injury. Coach Doug Marrone will give Thad Lewis a shot to start at quarterback Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Dixon, who worked out for the Bills over the weekend, has started three of four games played in the NFL in three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2008-11) and completed 35 of 59 passes for 402 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Oregon product entered the NFL as a fifth-round (156th overall) draft selection of the Steelers in 2008. He spent the 2012 season on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad and the 2013 training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles before being released prior to the regular season.

Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel is the only other quarterback on the roster but Marrone decided to go with Lewis, who was promoted from the practice squad.

Tuel relieved Manuel when he was injured during Thursday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns. Tuel was eight of 20 for 80 yards with an interception.

The Bills also announced that the team has signed linebacker Ty Powell to the 53-man roster and that cornerback Brandon Smith has been promoted from the practice squad.

Powell joins Buffalo from the New York Giants practice squad. A 6-2, 249-pound linebacker, Powell entered the NFL as a seventh-round (231st overall) draft selection of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and was released prior to the regular season. He has spent portions of his rookie season on the practice squads of the Seahawks and Giants. Powell began his collegiate career at DeAnza College before transferring to Harding.

Smith has been on the team's practice squad since Sept. 10. He joined the Bills after being released by the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 1. The 6-1, 205-pound Arizona State product entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.

Buffalo has released linebacker Marcus Dowtin and cornerback CB Johnny Adams.
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