COVID-19 isn’t finished making its way through One Bills Drive. The latest Buffalo Bills player to land on the COVID reserve list is starting right tackle Spencer Brown, who was placed there on Thursday morning. Brown had just returned to action after missing two games with a back injury, helping pave the way to a season-high 45-point outing in New Jersey. Now the Bills are forced to shuffle their offensive line yet again in his absence.
In adding Brown to the COVID list, the Bills took wide receiver Jake Kumerow off the list in a corresponding roster move.
While Brown was sidelined earlier this year, the Bills were forced to play Ike Boettger and Cody Ford at guard, with Daryl Williams at right tackle. That combination didn’t pass muster. Josh Allen was sacked four times and fumbled twice in those two games, and the Bills running backs carried the ball 24 times for a measly 69 yards—an average of 2.9 yards per carry.
A necessary question to ask is whether Brown was vaccinated against the coronavirus. While he’s almost certain to miss Sunday’s game, the Bills have another game the following Thursday. In this week, a vaccinated, asymptomatic Brown might be able to play against the New Orleans Saints. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have that luxury. Of course, here’s hoping that vaccine or not, Brown’s symptoms are mild. Bills fans won’t forget how the virus ravaged Dion Dawkins in the summer, setting him up for a bumpy season this year.
A home game against the 5-5 Indianapolis Colts seemed like it might be mildly in Buffalo’s favor, but without Brown, fans should be feeling uneasy. Watch out for DeForest Buckner, who leads the Colts with 4.5 sacks this year, and now has two friendly matchups in Boettger and Ford this weekend.
Here are the rules for when Brown can return:
- If he’s vaccinated and tested positive, he can return after he receives two negative tests 24 hours apart.
- If he’s not vaccinated and tested positive, it’s ten days and he has to be asymptomatic to return.
- If he’s not vaccinated and is a close contact, it’s five days.