The Buffalo Bills rolled out Frank Gore as their starting running back for a majority of the season, so you would think they would be worried about losing the veteran with his expiring contract. That doesn’t seem to be the case as they have several players who could step into the role currently occupied by Gore.
This conversation starts with Devin Singletary, who eventually took over as the lead running back for Buffalo. While he was great during his time in the game, he still needs a platooning player to keep him fresh. If he takes over as the full-time lead back, Buffalo would then need a complement.
T.J. Yeldon is the most likely candidate for an increased role. He only appeared in six games in 2020, and they were the first five as Singletary was adjusting to the NFL and the last game, where the Bills rested a majority of their offensive starters. When he was in the game, he was able to make an impact. In the four games where he saw more than three offensive snaps, he was successful as a receiver out of the backfield with 13 catches for 124 yards. He added 17 rushes for 63 yards on the ground. At 6.2 yards per touch, he’s a guy who could be in line for more playing time in 2020.
It’s unlikely the other running back on Buffalo’s roster will be able to make a significant difference next season. Christian Wade was signed as part of the International Pathway Program. While he’s a very talented runner, he only started playing football a year ago. He spent the 2019 season on Buffalo’s practice squad and lots of folks are clamoring for him to play. I think that’s foolish. He won’t bring special-teams ability, he’s never blocked before, he’s never run routes. The pathway program is two years for a reason, and Wade will best be served back on the practice squad.
With Singletary and Yeldon as your one-two punch, the Bills could survive the losses of Frank Gore and Senorise Perry by adding a lower-level free agent or draft pick. They could still maintain a two-headed monster but would be lacking in the “big back” department.
- All-22 review shows Frank Gore was better than his YPC average might indicate
- Contract projection for 37-year-old Frank Gore looks familiar
- In-house replacement options for Frank Gore
- Free agent options at running back are plentiful
- 2020 NFL Draft has power-back options
- Opinion: Gore brings more than just 3.6 yards per carry
- State of the Bills Roster: RBs Motor-ing toward 2020