Already down Cole Beasley due to his placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Bills will be without one of their other receiving weapons against the Patriots. Gabriel Davis is going on the virus list, Sean McDermott said (via ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg, on Twitter).
Offensive lineman Cody Ford will join Davis on the COVID list. Ford has bounced in and out of Buffalo’s starting lineup this season; Davis has become a key target for Josh Allen. Davis is unvaccinated, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). He will miss Week 16, and his Week 17 status is up in the air due to the 10-day quarantine period for unvaccinated players.
A 2020 fourth-round pick, Davis stepped into a more prominent role last week due to Emmanuel Sanders‘ injury absence. Davis has four touchdown receptions over the past three games, including two during a five-catch, 85-yard game against the Panthers in Week 15. The Central Florida alum has 13 touchdown grabs in two seasons.
While Beasley and Davis are set to be out of the picture in the Bills’ pivotal Patriots rematch, Sanders is looking likely to return after missing Week 15. The 12th-year veteran, who is battling a knee injury, practiced fully Thursday. His presence will be crucial, given the Bills’ sudden receiver availability issues.
Ford, selected in Round 2 in 2019, has started seven games for the Bills this season. Seeing time at tackle and guard, Ford has struggled, with Pro Football Focus rating the Oklahoma product as its fourth-worst guard this season. The Bills were already shorthanded up front last week, with left tackle Dion Dawkins and left guard Jon Feliciano going on the virus list. This pushed Ford back into the starting lineup. Both Dawkins and Feliciano remain on the list. Dawkins dealt with complications from his previous COVID bout this summer, while Feliciano said this week (via WIVB) he was also hospitalized due to the virus.
The Bills activated tackle Bobby Hart from their practice squad reserve/COVID list Friday but could certainly benefit from news of Dawkins or Feliciano being cleared.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.