The Buffalo Bills have placed fullback Patrick DiMarco on injured reserve with a neck injury, the team announced Friday afternoon. DiMarco’s injury had prevented him from practicing for the entirety of Buffalo’s “training camp,” and it seems it was severe enough for the Bills to place him on the season-ending injured reserve list before their roster cut deadline.
Until this year, DiMarco had appeared in 48 consecutive regular season games for the Bills. He originally signed a four-year, $8.5 million contract with the team in 2017. The team considered DiMarco one of their core veterans, and he was a team captain in 2018.
The Bills have made moderate use of DiMarco over the past three years. He played between 37 and 53 percent of special teams snaps, and between 16 and 25 percent of snaps on offense. Last year, DiMarco caught five passes for 41 yards and ran three times for seven yards.
One open question with this team is whether they’ll keep a different fullback to replace DiMarco. For much of the summer, undrafted rookie Reggie Gilliam practiced in his stead. But head coach Sean McDermott recently remarked that Gilliam had a long way to go, and the player changed position from fullback to tight end (with an accompanying number change from 41 to 86) mere days ago. The Bills could keep Gilliam as a fullback or H-back, sign a different player from another team, or even eschew the position—with three excellent receivers, a promising rookie receiver, and two young halfbacks, the team may want to emphasize four-receiver and split-back personnel packages.