The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be suffering a major setback on offense with LeSean McCoy possibly missing extended time as he fully recovers from a nagging hamstring injury.
McCoy aggravated his hamstring before the season started, but has pushed through to play in the first three contests. But with his performances lagging and the injury continuing to bother him, McCoy is now taking a break and has vowed to rest until he is fully healed.
“One thing I promised myself is I can’t go out there if I’m not 100 percent,” McCoy said, via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW. “So, if it’s this game, or next game — whenever it is, I’m rushing to get back but I’m not playing until I’m 100 percent. To be honest, I’m not the bruising type. My thing is make people miss and get out of there. If you can’t do that, you can’t do nothing.“
The Buffalo Bills have already ruled LeSean McCoy out of Sunday’s contest against the New York Giants, but rumors indicate that it could be even longer than that before he’s ready to return. McCoy said Friday that he feels like he is hurting his teammates by trying to play through the injury, and now wants to wait until he’s fully healed before coming back. It appears that could mean several weeks being out or of limited play.
The Bills may not hurt too much from McCoy’s absence. Rookie running back Karlos Williams has played very well so far, racking up 182 yards while leading the league with a 7.8-yard average. After three weeks he is the No. 14 rusher in the league, and will likely take on an even bigger role with McCoy out.
“In some ways, the Bills might be better off with Williams, minus losing the depth with McCoy,” NFL analyst Brian Baldinger told the Sporting News. “He’s a bigger (6-1, 230), stronger kid. It really fits the style of what Rex Ryan wants to do. They’re not going to lose anything with Shady not being there.”
As the Sporting News noted, Karlos Williams appears ready to be a feature back:
“Williams will see both his workload and scoring chances increase significantly in Buffalo. With shiny veteran acquisition LeSean McCoy not looking close to healthy with a lingering hamstring injury, the rookie won’t be just a relief or change of pace. He’ll have their running game going at full speed, full time.”
While the rumors around when the Buffalo Bills could get LeSean McCoy back are unclear, there is a chance he remains out for some extended time if the injury is not healing properly. The Bills have a five-week stretch with only one difficult opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6. In between, the Bills have the Giants, Titans, a trip to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars and then a bye week to follow it up.
It’s conceivable that LeSean McCoy could miss much, and maybe even all of that time if his injury continues to bother and if Karlos Williams continues to play well in relief. At the very least he could be week to week.
Whatever happens, the rumors regarding LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills are likely to reflect how well the team is playing. If the Bills lose a few games during that stretch and fall behind in the wild card picture, the team may be more inclined to bring him back sooner. But if the Bills’ offense continues to do well under Tyrod Taylor, and with players like Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin taking a big part, McCoy may have more freedom in when to return to the team.
[Photos by Tom Szczerbowski, Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]