The Buffalo Bills are dealing with a historically bad collection of wide receivers, but there is some good news looming for the team: No. 1 wide receiver Jordan Matthews was cleared to return to practice Wednesday, and there’s a chance Matthews could suit up Sunday, when the Bills welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 1 p.m. clash at New Era Field.
Matthews, who injured his thumb during Buffalo’s 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 1, was expected to miss at least a month, but just two weeks removed from a surgical procedure on his thumb, Matthews was cleared to practice.
“He’ll be day-to-day,” first-year head coach Sean McDermott said. “He did get cleared to practice, so he will be out at practice. He’ll be listed as limited and we’ll just take it one day at a time at this point.”
On Wednesday, Matthews could be found running routes, participating in team and individual drills, and catching passes with his surgically-repaired thumb. Those are all positive signs for Matthews, but Buffalo’s coaching staff wants to exercise caution when it comes to Matthews’ ability to play vs. the Buccaneers.
“We’re going to look at that,” McDermott said when asked if Matthews would return to the lineup Sunday. “That’s where the day-to-day part comes in. We’ll just take it one day at a time right now.”
Matthews compiled 10 catches for 162 yards and one touchdown through his first four games with the Bills. His return to the field would certainly provide a spark to a Buffalo offense that struggled to move the ball during a 20-16 road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5. Buffalo mustered only 221 yards of total offense against the Bengals, including just 36 yards after halftime.
In other injury-related news, tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle/foot) was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, while cornerbacks E.J. Gaines (groin) and Leonard Johnson (hamstring) were limited participants. Tight end Charles Clay (knee) and linebacker Ramon Humber (thumb) did not practice.
As for the Buccaneers, quarterback Jameis Winston (AC joint sprain) is questionable for Sunday’s game. Winston was spotted at practice Wednesday doing everything but throwing a pass, while linebacker Kwon Alexander (hamstring) was cleared to practice Wednesday. Cornerback Josh Robinson (concussion) and safety Keith Tandy (hip) returned to practice, while defensive end Ryan Russell (shoulder) did not practice.