The Buffalo Bills are preparing for their first postseason game since 1999, but they are going to be facing a major obstacle if their best player is unable to play.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that LeSean McCoy will be a true game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While McCoy was fortunate that he only suffered an ankle sprain in Week 17, Schefter was told it will be a “close call” as to whether he plays.
McCoy is easily Buffalo’s most important offensive player. He rushed for 1,138 yards this season and added another 448 receiving, scoring eight total touchdowns. Without him, it would be up to Tyrod Taylor to make more plays than he is accustomed to making.
Even if McCoy does play on Sunday, all indications have been that he won’t be at full strength. Going against Jacksonville’s elite defense would be the biggest challenge the Bills have faced all if McCoy plays. Without him, they may not stand a chance.
LeSean McCoy was carted off the field during Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, and the Buffalo Bills wound up beating the Miami Dolphins and getting some help from other teams to punch a ticket to the postseason. Now, the question is what the star running back’s status will be for the wild-card round.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that McCoy has a “chance” to play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he will be less than 100 percent healthy if he does.
McCoy has been diagnosed with a sprained ankle, which is much better news than a fracture but could still be quite painful. Players can typically play through low ankle sprains, but high ankle sprains usually cause more discomfort and require a longer recovery period. If McCoy is dealing with the latter, it will be a challenge for him to run with the same explosion we’re used to seeing.
LeSean McCoy was carted off the field in the third quarter of the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and the star running back reportedly received some decent news when he underwent an X-ray.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Bills believe McCoy suffered a sprained ankle.
That is obviously much better than breaking a bone, but it remains to be seen how serious the sprain is. The Bills are still fighting for a playoff spot and were in good shape at the time McCoy went down. If they manage to reach the postseason, they will desperately need their best player on the field in the wild card round.
LeSean McCoy was carted off the field early in the third quarter of Sunday’s Buffalo Bills-Miami Dolphins game with what the team termed an ankle injury.
McCoy rushed up the middle on a first and 10 play around midfield when he got hurt. Two Dolphins converged on him for a tackle. The Bills running back was down on the ground and pounded his fist after suffering the injury.
The good news is that Buffalo did not immediately rule him out of the game and instead termed him questionable to return.
McCoy only had 10 yards on 11 carries, though he did have 22 receiving yards before leaving the game. His 8-7 Bills were fighting for a playoff spot.
The 2017 regular season has been packed full of surprises. From a team perspective, the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants stand out for being so much better and so much worse than we expected, but it’s not just limited to those two organizations.
Yes, the Rams and Giants have gone in totally different directions than expected, but units like the New England Patriots defense have been worse than expected, and the the New York Jets have even found a way to open eyes.
But what players have contributed to all these surprises? Well, here’s a look at every NFL team’s most surprising player, good or bad, so far this season.
Arizona Cardinals – Adrian Peterson, RB
After appearing in only 20 games over his final three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, many believed the career of Adrian Peterson had reached its end. Even with another opportunity given to him by the New Orleans Saints, little changed for Peterson. He appeared in four games, gaining just 81 yards on 27 carries. Then came the trade to Arizona. Although he hasn’t exactly returned to Hall of Fame form, he has gained 369 yards in five games, providing the Cardinals with an unexpected spark on the ground.
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan, QB
A year after winning the NFL MVP Award and leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl, Matt Ryan has hit a bit of a wall. He’s returned to 2015 form and seen his completion percentage, yards per game, touchdown to interception ratio, yards per attempt and quarterback rating all drop — some of those considerably. He threw for 38 touchdowns last season and has just 15 in 10 games this season. His passer rating has dropped from 117.1 to 95.7. To cap it off, the Falcons are 6-4 and are no shoo-in to make the playoffs.
LeSean McCoy offered two potential outcomes for Nathan Peterman’s first NFL start and one of them ended up coming true.
Last week, Bills coach Sean McDermott made the decision to bench Tyrod Taylor for Sunday’s game against the Chargers and go with Nathan Peterman instead. The decision proved to be a costly one as the rookie threw five interceptions in the first half, leading to McDermott bringing Taylor back in the third quarter.
When speaking about Peterman earlier in the week on what we can expect to see from him, McCoy provided two scenarios. One was that Peterman could throw four or five touchdowns. The other was that he could throw five interceptions, which is exactly what happened.
After Buffalo’s 54-24 defeat to Los Angeles, McDermott said he would determine during the upcoming week who would start the team’s next game against Kansas City. With McDermott you never know, so we will have to wait and see but it would have to be considered a surprise if Peterman gets the start for the second week in a row.
H/T For The Win
The last time the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets met was in Week 1, and LeSean McCoy was largely responsible for his team coming away with a 21-12 victory. The Jets have to game plan accordingly for Thursday night’s game, but defensive lineman Steve McLendon doesn’t think there’s any need to get carried away.
McCoy finished with 159 total yards from scrimmage in Week 1, and McLendon is very much aware of that. However, that doesn’t mean Jets players are worried that McCoy can’t be stopped.
“He’s not a superhero,” McLendon told Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “You don’t want to make it seem like he can’t be stopped. He’s an amazing athlete. He can do some things with the football that you see done on the basketball court. I give him that.
“(But) this is how I look at everybody. And like I said, no disrespect to anybody. They put on their pads just like I do. They put on their pants just like I do. They put on their helmet just like I do. They put on their jersey just like I do. It doesn’t make no difference to me.”
McCoy picked up 18 or more yards on five different plays in Buffalo’s first meeting against the Jets. The Jets have improved against running backs in the weeks since, though they enter Thursday on a three-game losing streak. Stopping McCoy has to be their top priority whether they admit it publicly or not.
“Every superhero gets knocked down some time,” McLendon said. “Ya’ll looking at him as a superhero. We’re looking at him just like an ordinary man that has to be stopped.”
An ordinary man can’t do some of the things we have all watched McCoy do over the years. The Jets know that. They also know they have fallen into last place in the AFC East and the Bills just acquired another great offensive playmaker, so preparing for just one player is far from adequate. That’s likely the point McLendon was trying to make.
Buffalo Bills icon Jim Kelly blasted LeSean McCoy for his conduct during the national anthem on Sunday, but McCoy is not going to fire back.
The Bills running back said Wednesday that he did not lose respect for Kelly, who harshly criticized McCoy for stretching during the anthem, and that he was not expecting an apology.
“Like I texted him, he said some things to the media that he probably could have said to me,” McCoy said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “But his opinion, it really doesn’t matter to me. I like Jim Kelly. He texts me and I just told him, ‘Hey, you’re human.’ People have their own opinions. What you said, you don’t have to apologize for it. I don’t think you’re wrong. That’s how he felt. I understand. You’re human and I told him exactly, ‘My respect for you, it hasn’t changed. It’s still very high.’ He’s a hell of a player and I respected him when I met him, and even the relationship I have so far. So it didn’t affect me at all.”
McCoy said that President Trump’s comments had a major impact on him, leading to his actions.
“I was extremely hurt, to be honest,” McCoy said. “Because at first, everybody has their own opinions, like I talked about. People believe in different things, they stand up for what they want to stand up for, that’s their right. And some of the words that the President used, it just rubbed me the wrong way. I was upset and I was frustrated. That’s the way I wanted to express myself at the game. I took a knee. I started stretching. I was angry. I was hurt, just like I said after the game. Somebody like our president, being our leader of this country, where millions and millions and millions of people look at America and see the type of words and things he’s saying about us. I mean, it just got to me. It really did.”
McCoy went above and beyond simply kneeling during the anthem, which attracted a whole other level of controversy. It does not sound like he has any regrets.
LeSean McCoy was one of several players who made some sort of political statement during the playing of the national anthem on Sunday, and Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly does not agree with the way the star running back carried himself.
Kelly was on the Bills’ sideline before the team’s win over the Denver Broncos, and he stood with his hand over his heart as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. Roughly 12 Bills players walked toward midfield and took a knee during the anthem, and Kelly later expressed disappointment in them in an Instagram post.
Rather than take a knee, McCoy decided to go through his stretching routine while the national anthem played. A video showed him stretching next to some teammates and team staffers who placed their hands over their hearts. In an interview on 97 Rock in Buffalo Monday morning, Kelly was highly critical of McCoy.
“I like LeSean McCoy, don’t get me wrong, but I totally, 100 percent I disagree with what he did,” the Hall of Fame QB said, as transcribed by Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “You want to kneel? Fine. But when you go and do what he did yesterday, that sort of bummed me out. And I lost a lot of respect for him. … You want to kneel? That’s your prerogative. I would never do that. I will always stand, thank the good Lord for everything I got. But when you disrespect the way he did and just go by his everyday duty in the national anthem being sung? Uh-uh. I won’t go for that.”
McCoy called out Donald Trump during a postgame interview on Sunday and urged him to stop trying to divide the country.
National anthem protests were more widespread than ever across the NFL on Sunday, which was a direct response to Trump saying Friday that team owners should fire “any son of a b—” who kneels during the anthem. You can see a roundup of many of the protests here.
Kelly isn’t the only one who disagrees with the approach McCoy and others took, as fans in New England booed and yelled at players who took a knee.
While many NFL players chose to take a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was even more detached.
McCoy was seen doing his pregame stretches as the anthem was performed in Buffalo.
McCoy was one of the most critical of President Trump in light of his comments about those who kneel during the anthem, and reports indicated that the Buffalo locker room was particularly emotional in light of those remarks. Knowing what we know, it’s perhaps unsurprising that McCoy chose to do what he did here.