The Bills call up a familiar face from the practice squad before game against the Patriots

Ahead of their Thursday night matchup against the New England Patriots, the Buffalo Bills are adding an offensive weapon from their practice squad that will be a familiar face to fans.

Wide receiver John Brown has been called up by the Bills while Jamison Crowder, Jake Kumerow and Márquez Stevenson are sitting on injured reserve.

Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and Isaiah McKenzie are Josh Allen’s starting wide receivers, and speedy Khalil Shakir also gets some offensive snaps. But while Brown likely won’t have a good play count for Buffalo on Thursday night, he does have chemistry with his elite quarterback.

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John Brown of the Buffalo Bills catches a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins on January 3, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

Brown arrived in Buffalo during the 2019 campaign, a year after Buffalo took its future seventh overall quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. Brown racked up his second 1,000-yard season that year, totaling 72 receptions in 115 targets for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns.

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What makes Brown intriguing is his direct speed, which made him a deep passing threat for Allen. Although he saw his targeting and production dwindle in 2020 (Brown had 458 yards on 33 receptions with three touchdowns), defenses still had to respect his speed.

Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen (17) celebrates with John Brown after a 46-yard touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (17) celebrates with John Brown after a 46-yard touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Brown moved last season but went through different squads, including the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He saw time in just four games combined between those teams, seeing three total targets with no receptions.

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Brown has been a free agent throughout this 2022 campaign, but the Bills signed him to the practice squad on Nov. 26 and quickly found a roster spot for him heading into a pivotal AFC East game with the patriots.

John Brown of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after a 46-yard touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

John Brown of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after a 46-yard touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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Buffalo is currently tied with the Miami Dolphins at 8-3 on the season, which the latter has in tiebreaker after defeating the Bills earlier this year. The Patriots are at the bottom of the division, but at 6-5, there is still time to either make up the division or a wild card berth.