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. Â 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. Â Most jersey numbers have traces back to the ’60s for the Buffalo Bills, but not the number 31. Â We first see the number 31 in the mid 1990s. Â It was 1996 until 1998 that we saw Ray Jackson, the first Buffalo Bills to wear the number 31. Â Ray Jackson was in the league for 6 years, 3 with the Bills and 3 with the Browns. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â Charlie Rogers was primarily used as a punt returner for the 1 year he was with the Buffalo Bills. Â In 16 games for the Bills in 2002, he had 64 kick returns 1280 yards and 1 touchdowns. Â He also had 26 punt returns for 137 yards.
Daimon Shelton ties for the second longest resident for the number 31. Â Shelton played with the Bills for the final 3 years of his 9 year career. Â Shelton was a fullback but was primarily used as a blocking back and as a receiver out of the back field. Â 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. Â This, until 2009 when Jairus Byrd set up shop and was with the Buffalo Bills until 2013 wearing the number 31. Â 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. Â In his 5 years in Buffalo, he played in 73 games and started 66 of them. Â In those 66 games he came away with 22 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. Â Byrd also had 256 tackles as well as 3 sacks in his time in Buffalo. Â Probably the most well known number 31 there is out there.
The final player to wear the number 31 is Kenny Ladler in 2014. Â He was a rookie with the Buffalo Bills last year and came away with 3 tackles in 2 games for the Buffalo Bills.
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