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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Bills ahead of Week 16

Former Patriots and former Bills will reconvene Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

There’s been some roster turnover since the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots met in Orchard Park.

Onetime Patriots scout-team receiver Andre Holmes is no longer in the Bills’ 53-man fold. A punter who never punted during his rookie preseason with New England is now on Buffalo’s injured reserve. And a Patriots-turned-Bills linebacker and special-teamer is, well, once again a Patriots linebacker and special-teamer.

But let’s update the roster ties that have either changed or remained since New England beat Buffalo, 25-6, on that Monday night in late October.

The two sides will reconvene for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff Sunday at Gillette Stadium.


Conor McDermott, offensive tackle – McDermott, drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots’ war room in 2017, would be waived and claimed by Buffalo following his rookie preseason in Foxborough. The 6-foot-8, 305-pound UCLA product has appeared in six games over his two regular seasons since then as a member of the Bills. McDermott has logged five snaps on offense and 20 on special teams.

Ryan Groy, center – New England acquired Groy from the Chicago Bears in exchange for rookie linebacker Matthew Wells during the summer of 2015. The interior offensive lineman out of Wisconsin was later waived by the Patriots with the injury designation, and reached a settlement before stopping in with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Groy has gone on to play 50 games for the Bills, starting 15.

Robert Thomas, defensive tackle – Thomas, who had a stint on the Patriots’ practice squad in November 2015, has resided on Bills’ scout team since the last encounter. The former Arkansas defensive tackle has also checked in with the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins in his career. Miami signed him away from New England to the active roster three years ago.

Ryan Lewis, cornerback – The Bills claimed Lewis off waivers from New England during September’s roster cutdown. The undrafted corner by way of Pittsburgh had spent all but one week of the 2017 campaign on the Patriots’ practice squad, and returned on a futures contract. Lewis has proceeded to start three of his seven games with the Bills, notching 15 tackles, four pass deflections and two forced fumbles.

Corey Bojorquez, punter – As for the punter who never punted in a preseason game for New England, Bojorquez found himself claimed by Buffalo. The rookie from New Mexico and Cerritos College would enter into eight games for the Bills this fall, punting 45 times while averaging 45.1 yards per and landing 22 inside the 20. Bojorquez was placed on injured reserve following October’s AFC East matchup.


Chris Hogan, wide receiver – Hogan began his Bills tenure on the practice squad in 2012, and went on to catch 87 passes for 886 yards and six touchdowns over the three seasons that followed. The wideout left for his fifth NFL team in March 2016, signing a three-year, $12 million offer sheet with New England that Buffalo declined to match. Hogan has collected 29 receptions 468 yards and three TDs in his contract campaign.

Ramon Humber, linebacker – A Bill as recently as a month ago, Humber has since rejoined the organization that signed him to open free agency in 2016. He’s handled 66 percent of the action in New England’s kicking game over four contests, recovering a blocked punt and downing another at the one. “He’s an experienced player and a smart guy and it came back to him pretty quickly,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of the 31-year-old Humber last week.

Stephon Gilmore, cornerback – The No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Gilmore started 66 games for the Bills. He finished his stay with 14 interceptions, 62 pass deflections and having earned his first Pro Bowl selection. Gilmore, who signed a five-year, $65 million pact with New England in March 2017, has picked off four passes and defended a total of 27 over the two seasons since. He got his second Pro Bowl nod on Tuesday.