The Buffalo Bills have some serious talent at running back, and they are going to have to move on from NFL-caliber players from the position this week in a numbers crunch as the final 53-man roster is decided.
Heading into the offseason with LeSean McCoy, Chris Ivory, and Marcus Murphy, we knew they would add some players to the mix after a down year for Shady. Buffalo did that and then some, completely overhauling the position and adding a ton of talent.
The Bills added Frank Gore to the mix first, which led to the release of Ivory. Buffalo had two experienced backs and Murphy, who played okay in limited work in 2018. Even then, we knew they would add bodies to the position for the offseason, but Buffalo didn’t just add training-camp fodder.
The next guy on the docket was T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon has had a solid NFL career as a complementary back, especially as a receiver out of the backfield, and adding him to the mix felt like the final piece to the puzzle. A mid-20s back to possibly take the mantle from the old guys next year.
The bombshell came in the 2019 NFL Draft, when Buffalo didn’t just use a pick on a running back, they used a third-round pick to select a running back. Devin Singletary is clearly the future, but now Buffalo has a logjam at running back.
Murphy has been clawing for reps and done well in his limited work. He’s an NFL-caliber player who will get picked up somewhere after he’s released by Buffalo. It may not be right away, but it will happen during the season.
It will be hard for Yeldon to make the roster behind McCoy, Gore, and Singletary. Yeldon doesn’t play special teams (or at least hasn’t) but he’s proven time and again during the regular season previously and during this year’s preseason that he’s capable of playing well in the NFL.
Even if the Bills move on from Shady via trade or an outright release, a scenario I find unlikely, he obviously has juice left in the tank, as well, as does Gore who apparently does not age.
It’s a good problem to have if you’re the Bills’ general manager. There’s no doubt that the Bills need to cull the herd at running back and that they’ll be letting go of solid players. Which ones will be moving on is what’s still up in the air. The only untouchable player in the room is Singletary.