A back injury has officially ended the season of Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay, an injury that he has been dealing with since it occurred in a Week 14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills will face the New York Jets this weekend in a game that, should Buffalo win, could knock the Jets out of the Playoffs.
In his first season with the Bills, Clay recorded 51 receptions for 528 yards with three touchdowns. Clay spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, and this season's production marks Clay's lowest season output since his second year in the league, when he caught 18 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. In 2014, Clay caught 58 passes for 605 yards with three touchdowns in 14 games played. His career best season came in 2013, the only year in which he played all 16 games, catching 69 passes for 759 yards with six touchdowns.
The Dolphins placed the transition tag on Clay last offseason, giving them the right of first refusal if another team signed him to an offer sheet. The Bills did that, signing him to a 5-year, $38-million contract. The Dolphins chose not to match the offer, in large part because the structure guaranteed the tight end $24.5 million in the first two years, with a salary cap number that balloons to $13.5 million in 2016, a move designed to attack Miami's salary cap space after the addition of Ndamukong Suh last year.
Another former Dolphins starter, defensive tackle Paul Soliai, landed on injured reserve today as well. Playing for the Atlanta Falcons, Soliai injured his calf last week against the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons added tight end DJ Tialavea to fill Soliai's roster position.
Replacing Clay on the Bills' roster is another former Dolphins player, cornerback Sammy Seamster. Seamster appeared in two games for the Dolphins in 2014, but broke his collarbone and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. He was waived at the end of the 2015 preseason, spending time with the New Orleans Saints before joining the Bills' practice squad in November.