Dion Dawkins has not participated in team drills throughout Bills training camp, and Sean McDermott said the team’s starting left tackle is not close to being ready to return to full work. Dawkins landed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list July 28 and required hospitalization after contracting the virus, Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN.com reports.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman was hospitalized for four days after developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Dawkins lost 16 pounds and may have an uphill battle to be ready by the time the Bills begin their season.
“He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us,” McDermott said. “So he’s got a long road here. … He’s going to control what he can control, and so are we. He’s got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he’s — I mean, this is what, going on Week 4 of training camp at this point, so he’s missed a lot of time.”
The Bills activated Dawkins off their reserve/COVID list late last week, and he has begun doing conditioning work. Dawkins, 27, was not considered fully vaccinated at the time of the hospitalization. Dawkins’ hospitalization marks another rough step for the Bills on the virus front. Tight end Tommy Sweeney missed all of the 2020 season after developing myocarditis, a heart condition associated with COVID-19.
Dawkins’ status, of course, will have a bigger impact on the Bills. He is in the first season of a four-year, $68MM extension and has been the team’s left tackle starter since 2017. Buffalo has given third-round rookie Spencer Brown the bulk of its left tackle reps during camp. The team drafted Brown out of Northern Iowa with the No. 93 overall pick.
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