The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be getting a key part of the offense back this Sunday, with LeSean McCoy possibly making a sooner than expected return from a hamstring injury just in time for a critical matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
McCoy has been out for the last three weeks after he re-aggravated a hamstring injury that has bothered him throughout the offseason. McCoy pushed himself to get back on the field, playing at less than 100 percent through the team’s first three contests.
But he went out in Weeks 4 and 5, with reports that he had a new tear that would likely take a few weeks to heal.
At the time, McCoy said he needed to rest and get completely healthy.
“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.”
Now it appears LeSean McCoy could be back sooner than expected. The running back posted an Instagram picture early on Friday that seems to imply his return against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“The count down finally!!!!!!! 2 5 on the way,” he wrote.
Having LeSean McCoy back in the lineup would be critical to the Buffalo Bills, who have suffered a number of setbacks on offense. Last week, quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered an MCL injury while being tackled on a long third-down run, and though he played through the injury and led the Bills on a game-winning touchdown drive, after the game the injury worsened and led to reports that he will miss Sunday’s game.
Sources close to the Bills say that E.J. Manuel is preparing to start against the Cincinnati Bengals, though Bills coach Rex Ryan did not rule out him playing on Sunday.
“I would not rule out Tyrod Taylor as starting this week,” Ryan told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday morning. “Although I know it’s widely reported that that’s the case. We will see, that’s a possibility. I certainly wouldn’t count Tyrod Taylor out. He did finish the game this past week. I can tell you this: He’s got heart, he’s got toughness and he’s got a lot of ability. I definitely would not rule him out.”
That can likely be taken with a grain of salt. Ryan has been known to employ a bit of gamesmanship with comments regarding players, which he did earlier this year when declining to name a starter until late into training game. Many believe he is trying to force the Cincinnati Bengals to prepare for both Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manuel, with the likelihood still that Taylor will be sidelined.
There are other question marks for the Bills. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is still slowly returning from a calf injury, but has given indications that he will be in the lineup. That could be a critical addition against the Bengals, who come in at 5-0. A win would help Buffalo greatly in the team’s quest for the first playoff bid in 16 seasons.
While the rumors regarding Tyrod Taylor are unclear, the Buffalo Bills would stand to benefit greatly if McCoy is back in the lineup, regardless of who is under center. Though McCoy has struggled through his three games so far this year, he brings a great deal of explosiveness and the ability to take pressure off the passing game.
[Photos by Tom Szczerbowski, Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]