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Buffalo Bills call up Isaiah Hodgins and Bobby Hart, reinforce practice squad

COVID is forcing more last-minute adjustments

The Buffalo Bills, forced to place wideout Gabriel Davis and offensive lineman Cody Ford on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday, have called up a pair of players from their practice squad as reinforcements. Offensive tackle Bobby Hart will return to the roster for the second time this season, now a little more likely to play in the game, and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins also received the call.

The team also signed two players to their practice squad: wide receiver Austin Proehl and punter Jamie Gillan.

Let’s review:

  • The offensive line has three players on the COVID-19 list: Dion Dawkins, Jon Feliciano, and now Cody Ford. If Dawkins and Feliciano are healthy and testing negative for COVID, they can still be activated to play on Sunday. That’s the case for Ford, too, as long as he’s vaccinated. But it’s obviously a tougher situation, with his first positive test coming today.
  • At wide receiver, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis are both on the COVID-19 list and both unvaccinated. Due to the timing of Davis’s positive test, he’ll end up missing a minimum of two games. Beasley won’t play this weekend, but if he’s healthy and tests negative before the Atlanta Falcons game, he could play in that.
  • A.J. Epenesa, practice squad defensive end Mike Love, and practice squad tight end Quintin Morris are also on the COVID-19 list.
  • Two Bills coaches landed on the COVID-19 list on Friday: Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell, and DL coach Eric Washington.

At the moment, the Bills have a starting offensive line of Brown-Boettger-Morse-Williams-Hart, or maybe Brown-Boettger-Morse-Bates-Williams. Your first men off the bench are Ryan Bates, Bobby Hart, and/or Tommy Doyle. Having lost Jamil Douglas from their practice squad recently, the only two other options available are Jacob Capra and Evan Ksiezarczyk. That’s assuming no one else returns to the roster by Sunday.

For the wide receivers, Stefon Diggs will start. Emmanuel Sanders (knee) will play, having practiced all week. Isaiah McKenzie is the number-three option, and Marquez Stevenson and Jake Kumerow are also available. For Isaiah Hodgins, this could be his career debut, if he’s active. The 6’4” 210-lb receiver might be able to work in on similar plays to the 6’2” Gabriel Davis.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the roster for any additional COVID fallout or practice squad updates.