The Buffalo Bills rarely reveal any plans of theirs. Head coach Sean McDermott often keeps his cards close to his chest.
In regard to the latest news surrounding the Bills’ running back room, McDermott did let his guard down a tad.
Most would expect the next-man up to be second-year pro Devin Singletary. That appears to be confirmed, a bit, by the coach on Monday after McDermott confirmed the news that rookie rusher Zack Moss would miss the rest of the playoffs with an ankle injury.
“I told (Singletary) it’s his time to step up,” McDermott said via video conference. “This team is one hundred percent confident in Devin Singletary.”
“He’s very aware of that and more than capable,” McDermott added.
While the Bills coach did reveal a little nugget in there, it’s not the most shocking thing. During the regular season, Moss and Singletary had split snaps for the most part. After the midpoint of the year, Moss did start to see the slight edge on Singletary in terms of snaps played, but both guys were getting touches.
In 13 games, Moss averaged 4.3 yards per carry, putting up 481 total. Singletary saw his yards per carry drop from 5.1 a year ago to 4.4 in 2020. Moss led the Buffalo running back room with 687 yards, but didn’t miss time like Moss had. Singletary did feature as the Bills’ pass-catching back more than double the amount of Moss as well, notching 38 catches to the rookie’s 14.
Where the more intriguing decision lies is replacing Moss’s roster spot. In most cases during the season, when both Moss and Singletary were healthy, they were the only running backs active on game day. Behind them for most of the year was presumably TJ Yeldon.
Yeldon appeared in three games for Buffalo in 2020, Weeks 3-5, while Moss was injured. In that time, Yeldon had 10 carries for 70 yards with one catch for 22 yards, which also went for a touchdown. In Buffalo’s other 13 games, he was mostly inactive or on the team’s COVID-19 list for a brief time.
But since Yeldon’s time in the lineup, another running back has captured the hearts of those in western New York, Antonio Williams. Formerly an undrafted rookie this past offseason, Williams has been on and off of Buffalo’s practice squad all year. In Week 17 he was finally called up from the taxi squad and produced with a big game which included two touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins.
Finally there’s Christian Wade, the international who shined in the 2019 preseason.
McDermott mentioned all three players as potential replacements, perhaps in an effort not to give away too much intel to the Baltimore Ravens ahead of their Round 2 meeting on Saturday, but McDermott did add a little extra on Williams.
“We’ll look at guys on our roster that we have a lot of confidence in, T.J [Yeldon], Antonio [Williams], Christian [Wade]. We’ll take a look at what our options are,” McDermott said.
“He certainly popped,” McDermott mentioned on Williams.
The Bills could go numerous ways with their decision, but rolling with Singletary primarily would appear to be the smartest play on paper.
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