Buffalo Bills History: Who Wore It #31


Yesterday, we took a look at the Buffalo Bills and the players that have worn the number 30 for them. Moving right along, we will take a look today at the players that wore the number 31 for the Buffalo Bills.  There were 19 players that donned the number 30 for the Bills but only 8 that have carried that number on their back in the 50+ years of history for the Buffalo Bills.

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The history for the number 31 is not that long.  Most jersey numbers have traces back to the ’60s for the Buffalo Bills, but not the number 31.  We first see the number 31 in the mid 1990s.  It was 1996 until 1998 that we saw Ray Jackson, the first Buffalo Bills to wear the number 31.  Ray Jackson was in the league for 6 years, 3 with the Bills and 3 with the Browns.  Jackson played in 35 games for the Bills and came away with 3 interceptions and 9 total tackles.

Lennox Gordon, in 1999, is the next player to wear the number 31 for the Buffalo Bills.  Gordon was a running back for the Bills for 1 year, he played in 8 games and had a total of 11 rushing attempts for 38 yards.

We see the number 31 take the field again in 2001 with Lance Brown toting the number.  Brown was active for 14 games at the end of his career for the Buffalo Bills, playing strong safety, a converted cornerback.

Charlie Rogers is the next player to don the number 31 for the Buffalo Bills in 2002.  Charlie Rogers was primarily used as a punt returner for the 1 year he was with the Buffalo Bills.  In 16 games for the Bills in 2002, he had 64 kick returns 1280 yards and 1 touchdowns.  He also had 26 punt returns for 137 yards.

Daimon Shelton ties for the second longest resident for the number 31.  Shelton played with the Bills for the final 3 years of his 9 year career.  Shelton was a fullback but was primarily used as a blocking back and as a receiver out of the back field.  For the Buffalo Bills he had 55 targets, with 37 receptions for 247 yards and 1 touchdown.

In 2007 Dwayne Wright, in 16 games for the Buffalo Bills, had 29 rushing attempts for 94 yards and 3 receptions for 17 yards.

Up until 2009, for the most part, the number 31 has been primarily a rental number and no one has really had time to make it their home per se.  This, until 2009 when Jairus Byrd set up shop and was with the Buffalo Bills until 2013 wearing the number 31.  Byrd was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2009 and had an outstanding showing in the interception department nabbing 9 total interceptions as a rookie free safety, which got him a bid to the pro bowl, his first of 3 total bids.  In his 5 years in Buffalo, he played in 73 games and started 66 of them.  In those 66 games he came away with 22 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.  Byrd also had 256 tackles as well as 3 sacks in his time in Buffalo.  Probably the most well known number 31 there is out there.

The final player to wear the number 31 is Kenny Ladler in 2014.  He was a rookie with the Buffalo Bills last year and came away with 3 tackles in 2 games for the Buffalo Bills.

Next: Buffalo Bills Draft Prospects: Michael Bennett

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