When the Buffalo Bills host the New York Giants on Sunday, they’ll be doing it without running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Although he refuses to flat out say that LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins are officially out for Sunday’s game against the Giants, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan’s response is clear.
“You figure it out,” he says below, as shared by Bills beat reporter Joe Buscaglia. McCoy and Watkins haven’t practiced all week, so Ryan’s half-answer isn’t surprising.
Since late August, LeSean McCoy has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Ever since injuring himself in a shared practice with the Cleveland Browns, the injury has been nagging McCoy.
LeSean didn’t play any of the Bills’ preseason games after August 18, and played a very limited role in the season opener when Buffalo defeated the Indianapolis Colts. McCoy had 17 carries for 41 yards and three receptions for 46 yards for a total of 20 possessions. As the stats at NFL.com show, LeSean slumped a little in Week 2 to just 18 possessions (116 total yards), and slumped again in Week 3 with just 12 possessions and 26 yards.
But as the New York Times reported, McCoy hasn’t been 100 percent since that practice in August. In their post-game interviews last Sunday, both LeSean McCoy and Rex Ryan acknowledged that rest might be the best option for McCoy. It now looks like LeSean will almost certainly sit out Week 4 — will he be 100 percent by Week 5? The injury has noticeably slowed McCoy down, and has contributed to his failing to meet expectations. This is LeSean’s first season with the Bills, acquired from the Eagles in a trade during the off-season.
The Bills had good reason to expect big things from McCoy. Last season, LeSean McCoy led the league in total rushing yards (1,607) and yards from scrimmage (2,146).
Along with McCoy, the Bills’ offense will be without receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday. As CBS Sports reported on Monday, Watkins was officially diagnosed with a mild calf strain. In Last Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami, Sammy didn’t even make it to the second half. Now it looks like neither he nor LeSean McCoy will be able to make it onto the field this Sunday at all.
Sammy’s presence won’t be missed quite as much as LeSean McCoy’s, however. Last week, Watkins had just one reception. He has a total of seven receptions after the first three games, resulting in 99 yards and a touchdown. Statistically speaking, he’s third behind fellow Bills receivers Percy Harvin and Robert Woods. Although his profile at NFL.com shows him as having not practiced this week, there is no indication that Harvin won’t be playing Sunday.
Assuming LeSean McCoy doesn’t play on Sunday, it is expected that rookie Karlos Williams will be picking up some of the slack. So far this season, Williams has 24 carries for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Hogan is expected to step up in Watkins’ absense, who has four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown.
The Buffalo Bills are currently tied for second place with the New York Jets in the AFC East at 2-1. Their opponents on Sunday, the Giants, are 1-2. If McCoy is able to return in Week 5, he will be running against the Tennessee Titans defense, another team currently 1-2.
You can watch the Bills try to get past the Giants without LeSean McCoy on Sunday. The game, taking place in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, begins at noon and airs on Fox.
[Image credit Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]