Head coach Sean McDermott benches LeSean McCoy for 'private situation'

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy did not earn the start in Sunday’s 24-12 loss to the New England Patriots stemming from a “private matter” that he discussed with head coach Sean McDermott.

McCoy took the field and got a carry on the second play from scrimmage but only received six of the team’s 18 carries — and just two after halftime. It was the first time since his sophomore season in 2010 that McCoy played in a game but did not start.

“Coach, he just, we had a situation, and he was totally right,” McCoy said to reporters after the game. “It was a private situation. I’m a captain, and I need to be more accountable. It’s as simple as that. He checked me and put me in my place. That was it.”

How does this affect McCoy’s future in Buffalo?

It’s unclear what exactly this “situation” was with McCoy, although it does not appear to involve the hamstring injury that left him questionable for Sunday’s game. It would also be an awfully long time after his accusations of domestic violence this summer and accusations of child abuse from September for the team to take action.

Regardless, McCoy’s future is up in the air. The Philadelphia Eagles approached the Bills about a reunion with McCoy earlier in the season, but a trade never came to fruition. Even after discussions with general manager Brandon Beane, though, McCoy isn’t certain that he will be back.

“I don’t know,” McCoy said after the game. “I remember Beane saying earlier in the year that they’ve got plans for me, so we’ll see. … I can’t worry about that. The only thing I can worry about is who I am. I’m a good player. I love it here. We’ll see what happens.”

McCoy is entering the final year of five-year, $40 million contract in 2019, although just $2.625 million of his $9.05 million cap hit next year is guaranteed.

Bills running back LeSean McCoy did not earn a start in a game he played for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Bills running back LeSean McCoy did not earn a start in a game he played for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

McCoy’s touches going down

One possible explanation is that McCoy’s touches have gone down, which would explain tension between the 30-year-old back and coach of a rebuilding team.

McCoy’s 11.6 rushes per game is his lowest mark since his rookie season, although he hasn’t been particularly effective when he does touch the ball. McCoy is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry, and his previous worst was 4.0 ypc in 2017. His nine yards on six carries Sunday certainly won’t help the six-time Pro Bowler’s case.

“I just think, overall, I just expected us to be able to run the ball more,” McDermott said Sunday. “Or better than we did today.”

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