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Bills make a pair of changes to active roster; sign QB Dennis Dixon to practice squad

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills continued to tweak the bottom of their 53-man roster by signing linebacker Ty Powell and cornerback Brandon Smith. To make room for them, the team released linebacker Marcus Dowtin and cornerback Johnny Adams.

Powell, 25, was signed off the New York Giants' practice squad. The 6-foot-2, 249-pounder entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice of the Seattle Seahawks in April. He was released prior to the start of the regular season and has spent time on the practice squad for both Seattle and the Giants. He started his collegiate career at DeAnza College and finished it at Harding -- proving if you can play, NFL scouts will find you.

Smith, 26, is a converted wide receiver who joined the team's practice squad Sept. 10 after being released by Green Bay on Sept. 10. The 6-1, 205-pounder originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.

Dowtin, 24, has played in all five games this season in a reserve role on defense, making six tackles. He also made four tackles on special teams.

Adams, 24, has played sparingly in a reserve role the past four games after joining the active roster prior to Week Two, but did not record any statistics.

The Bills also added quarterback Dennis Dixon, who worked out for the team Sunday, to the practice squad. Dixon, 28, has four years of NFL experience, but has only appeared in four games in that time, and none since 2010 -- when he made two starts for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He has completed 35 of 59 passes for 402 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. The 6-3, 215-pound Oregon product entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Steelers in 2008. He spent the 2012 season on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad and training camp this season with the Philadelphia Eagles before being released prior to the regular season.


Brandon Smith | Dennis Dixon | Johnny Adams | Marcus Dowtin | Ty Powell
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |