Similar to the physically unable to perform list, the move will keep Alonso out for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. However, Alonso is expected to miss the entire season due to the knee injury he suffered while working out in July.
Under NFL rules, Alonso can begin practicing starting after Week 6 and no later than the Monday after Week 11. If he begins practicing, the team then has a 21-day period to activate him to the 53-man roster.
Again, Alonso is not expected to play this season. The Bills had to place him on the non-football injury list since his injury happened away from the team's facility.
The move has another wrinkle worth noting: If Alonso spends the entire season on the NFI list, which is expected, he will not accrue a season toward free agency. That means when Alonso's rookie deal is up after the 2016 season, he will only have three accrued seasons, making him a restricted free agent. He would have been an unrestricted free agent under normal circumstances.
Alonso was in the Bills' locker room Monday and appeared to be walking without restriction.
By moving Alonso from the active/non-football injury list to the reserve/non-football injury list Tuesday, the Bills cleared a spot on their 75-man roster. They now have 74 players counting against their limit.
The Bills needed to wait until Tuesday’s 75-man cutdown deadline to place Alonso on the reserve/NFI list. Had they made the transaction prior to Tuesday, the second-year linebacker would have been exposed to waivers.