There is good news and bad news for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis.
Thankfully the positives outweigh the negatives.
Fresh off a ridiculous performance of his own against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Bills’ 42-36 overtime loss on Sunday, Davis admitted he did feel a bit frustrated this year. After a promising rookie season, Davis was buried on the depth chart at the start of the 2021 season.
“It was definitely a little challenging for me this year to not be able to play as much as I feel like I should have,” Davis said via video conference. “But at the end of the day, it all worked out.
“I’m happy I was able to go out there and show what I can do at a high level.”
That he certainly did. Davis had eight catches for 201 yards and a record-setting four touchdowns against the Chiefs. However, early in the year, that happening seemed unlikely.
The Bills signed veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders last offseason. Everyone including Davis knew that would cut into his playing time.
Now for the good updates. Not only did Davis play well in Kansas City, he really started to step up down the stretch for Buffalo. No one wishes injury on anyone, but Sanders missing playing time due to a knee injury put Davis in the spotlight.
Even before Davis got to the second half of the season, Bills quarterback Josh Allen often touted his abilities. Allen did again on Monday via video conference.
“(Davis is) a guy that always does the right things. Coming in– it doesn’t feel real that he’s only a second year guy in the league, it feels like he’s been here so much longer than that,” Allen said. “For him to do that yesterday was unbelievable. At the start of the season, he was begging for more opportunities. I just told him to just stay the course and that’s exactly what he did and he didn’t complain. He didn’t pout. He didn’t give up. He just put his head down and worked his a– off.”
Now for the final bit of likely good news for Davis.
Moving forward, it’s likely he finally gets his long awaited shot at full-time snaps. As a rookie, he was behind then-Bills veteran John Brown on the depth chart, and as referenced, there was Sanders this year.
Currently Sanders is not slated to be back in Buffalo. The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Bills this past offseason.
There’s a chance that Sanders or another vet could be added, but there’s no reason for any of them to be ahead of Davis on the depth chart, though. He has earned his playing time.
But those are not his own words.
Davis is actually continuing to take things in stride even after a historic effort against the Chiefs.
What’s he going to do this offseason to further improve? Well first he’s mentally going to prepare like he doesn’t have it all figured out. He did only just finish Year 2, after all.
“Just get better at everything,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. I’m a young player in this league.”
With an attitude like that while the Bills have Allen and fellow wideout Stefon Diggs locked up for a long time? Buffalo has a lot to be excited about.