In a surprise move, the Buffalo Bills waived running back Jonathan Williams on Sunday.

He was one of three veterans released after the team made three waiver claims. The others released are wide receiver Philly Brown and linebacker Gerald Hodges.

The Bills claimed offensive tackle Conor McDermott (from New England), linebacker Deon Lacey (from Miami) and tight end Khari Lee (from Detroit).

Williams thanked Buffalo on Twitter after news of his release was reported.

He was expected to play a significant role behind LeSean McCoy in the Bills’ backfield after Mike Gillislee signed a restricted free-agent deal with the New England Patriots in the offseason.

Williams, a fifth-round pick of the Bills in 2016, played in 11 games last season. He rushed 27 times for 94 yards and one touchdown.

Without Williams, the Bills are now expected to use veteran Mike Tolbert as their top option behind McCoy. The team also kept running backs Joe Banyard and Taiwan Jones, whose main contributions are expected to come on special teams, on their 53-man roster.

Brown and Hodges both signed with the Bills this offseason.

Brown, 25, had a connection with Bills general manager Brandon Beane as both came from the Panthers organization. He caught 79 passes for 1,019 yards and seven touchdowns with the Panthers. He might have been made expendable after the Bills acquired wide receiver Kaelin Clay on Saturday in a trade with the Panthers.

Hodges, 26, spent last season with the 49ers, starting 12 games. He finished with 83 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two interceptions in his fourth NFL season.