Bills’ Lotulelei opts out; Sweeney sidelined by foot injury

NFL

Buffalo Bills starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has chosen to voluntarily opt out from playing this season.

The Bills also opened training camp Tuesday by announcing second-year tight end Tommy Sweeney was placed on the active-physically unable to participate list because of a foot injury. The team did not reveal the nature of the injury or when Sweeney was hurt.

The 30-year-old Lotulelei has seven years of NFL experience and was entering his third season with the Bills. He has two years remaining on his contract, which will now run through 2022.

At 6-foot-2 and 315 pounds, Lotulelei is considered the defensive line’s top run stopper. He was credited with 19 tackles, including three for a loss, and two sacks in playing 50% of the defensive snaps over 16 games last season.

Though the defense loses a prominent returning starter, Buffalo does have depth at the position. Harrison Phillips returns after missing the final 13 games of 2019 with a torn knee ligament, and the Bills added Vernon Butler and Quinton Jefferson in free agency.

On Monday, Buffalo placed rookie defensive back Ike Brown on the reserve-COVID-19 list, meaning he has either tested positive or been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Brown is an undrafted free agent out of Florida International.

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