Posted on January 2, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Buffalo Bills have waited 17 long years to return to the playoffs. Unfortunately, they may have to return without their best player. According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, McCoy will be a “game-time decision” to play in Sunday’s Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If McCoy is unavailable, it would be a devastating blow to Buffalo’s chances of pulling off the road win and advancing to the Divisional Round.
McCoy suffered an ankle injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He was carted off the field and did not return. The good news for the Bills is that X-rays on the ankle came back negative. That gives Buffalo some hope that McCoy will be healthy enough to play against Jacksonville on Sunday.
“He’s going to have a chance we’ll see,” head coach Sean McDermott said Monday. “We’re continuing to go through the medical evaluation on that. We got some good news this morning. So, we’ll continue to monitor that as we go forward.”
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Before the injury, the Dolphins limited McCoy to just 10 yards rushing on 11 carries, as well as two catches for 22 yards. Of course, Miami’s defense was one of the only defenses in the league that managed to keep McCoy bottled up this year.
On the season, McCoy racked up over 1,100 yards rushing and over 400 yards receiving. He was actually second on the team in receiving yards behind tight end Charles Clay and first in targets. Without much consistency at wide receiver this year, McCoy is undoubtedly Buffalo’s most important offensive playmaker.
After McCoy left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy took over in Buffalo’s backfield. Each finished the game with seven carries apiece. For Murphy it was his first action of the season. He was promoted from the practice squad last week after Travaris Cadet was placed on IR and had just one prior rushing attempt in his career.
Despite the inexperienced Murphy sharing carries with Tolbert, who is more of a fullback than a half back, McDermott was satisfied with how the Bills handled McCoy’s absence for most of the 2nd half.
“He’s obviously a big part of what we do,” McDermott said of McCoy. “That said, I loved what we saw yesterday which is true of our entire team. You see 63 guys prepare all season long. I think that was on display against the Dolphins when Murphy stepped up and Mike Tolbert did as well.”
McDermott admitted Monday that the team has already considered the possibility of signing a running back if it looks like McCoy won’t play on Sunday. However, it’s unlikely the Bills could sign a quality running back who could learn the playbook by Sunday.
It seems more likely that McCoy will do his best to play hurt and contribute any way he can. Of course, with an ailing ankle, McCoy’s ability to change directions and accelerate may be compromised. Even if he does play, McCoy may not be able to make a significant impact on Sunday’s game and help the Bills keep their season alive.