Bills RB McCoy misses practice and listed day to day
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Richie Incognito is so accustomed to people counting out the Bills this season, the veteran guard isn’t fazed by questions regarding injured running back LeSean McCoy’s uncertain status for Buffalo’s AFC wild-card playoff game at Jacksonville on Sunday.
In a year Buffalo has overcome various obstacles — a snowstorm, roster purge and a four-way playoff tiebreaker — to snap a 17-season postseason drought , what’s one more hurdle, the 11-year veteran wondered.
“This team thrives off adversity. It thrives off negative situations. It thrives off everyone picking against us. So we have everything going our way,” Incognito said Wednesday.
“People are picking against us. We’re missing a couple of guys. So I like our chances.”
McCoy’s status is up in the air after the Bills’ top offensive threat missed practice because of an injured right ankle. He was carted off the field after being hurt on the opening drive of Buffalo’s 22-16 win over Miami on Sunday.
Coach Sean McDermott would only say medical tests were negative and listed McCoy as day to day. McDermott declined to speculate whether McCoy will be able to practice at all this week.
McCoy was initially scheduled to address reporters following practice, but was not made available because team officials said he was still being treated by trainers during the period designated for interviews.
McCoy’s value to the Bills is difficult to underestimate in a season the 29-year-old became the NFL’s 30th player to top 10,000 career yards rushing.
The ninth-year player leads Buffalo with 1,138 yards rushing, 59 catches and eight touchdowns, including two receiving. Overall, his 1,586 yards from scrimmage account for 33 percent of the Bills’ total.
In finishing 9-7, the Bills were 8-2 when topping 100 yards rushing.
“Of course, Shady is a special playmaker. You miss him when he’s not out there,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said, referring to McCoy, who’s nicknamed ‘Shady.’
“But at the same time, you can’t use it as an excuse. We have to go out there and make plays, myself, the receivers,” he added. “We’ll pick him up if he’s not out there.”
Buffalo lacks depth at the position a week after backup Travaris Cadet broke his ankle.
That leaves Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy as the only running backs on the roster, along with fullback Patrick DiMarco. Murphy was promoted off the practice squad last week and led Buffalo with 41 yards rushing, while adding two catches for 7 yards against Miami.
Murphy had one career carry for no gain during his previous two seasons with New Orleans. He understands he can’t alone replace McCoy.
“I really don’t think about it like that. I know I have a role in this offense just like everyone else,” Murphy said. “I can’t be Shady.”
On Tuesday, the Bills added insurance by signing running back Aaron Green to their practice squad. Green played two games with the Los Angeles Rams last season.
The Bills have persevered with a next-man up approach in a season they traded three starters, including receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams in August and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville in October.
Despite a roster that closed the regular season with just 20 returning players, Buffalo clinched the AFC’s sixth and final playoff berth by beating Miami. The Bills then got help when Baltimore gave up a last-minute touchdown on fourth-and-12 in a 31-27 loss to Cincinnati.
That left Buffalo in a four-way tie, and inched ahead of Baltimore based on having a better strength of victory percentage. The Bills were 2-4 against playoff-bound teams (Kansas City and Atlanta), while Baltimore went 0-5.
Buffalo finished sixth in yards rushing and faces a Jaguars defense that ranked second in yards allowed, but was inconsistent against the run.
The AFC South champions ranked 21st in yards rushing allowed, and gave up 140 yards or more five times this season — including 256 in a 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets in Week 4.