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Buffalo Bills injuries: Isaiah McKenzie in a sling, multiple starters sidelined

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

It happened gradually and very quickly, but the Buffalo Bills are a walking M.A.S.H. unit right now. While we received good news with All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs returning to practice this week after a couple weeks off with a knee injury, the long list of injuries has ballooned since the team’s game against the Chicago Bears last weekend.

The biggest concern right now comes at punt returner and kick returner, as wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie popped up in a sling at practice Wednesday. On Tuesday he took a hit in practice from safety Jordan Poyer and had to be helped off the field. The potential mid-term impact of this injury could open up a spot on the roster for a guy like Marquez Stevenson. We don’t have an update on the injury or the length of time McKenzie will be out.

Stevenson is dealing with his own injury (foot), so that’s going to complicate the situation even more. Without knowing the injury or expected time off, we’d only be speculating. The team added WRs Steven Sims and Rico Gafford this week, as Gabe Davis and Cole Beasley are on a mandatory five-day quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19. On a positive notes, Isaiah Hodgins returned from his injury earlier this week.

Also concerning is the state of the cornerback position. Former All-Pro Tre’Davious White is healthy, so that’s good. The top three cornerbacks after him all missed practice on Wednesday. Levi Wallace (hip), Dane Jackson (stinger), and Taron Johnson (hand) have undisclosed timetables for a return, but relying on Siran Neal is going to be tricky. The team signed Tim Harris to cope with the injuries and young players Cam Lewis, Rachad Wildgoose, Nick McCloud, and Olaijah Griffin will get some run this week, too.

On the offensive line, fourth OT Tommy Doyle was back in action but swing tackle Spencer Brown remained sidelined with a knee injury. Dion Dawkins played two series over the weekend and is working his way back into game shape quicker than anticipated following his hospital stay for COVID-19.

Long snapper Reid Ferguson (back) didn’t practice on Wednesday. We don’t anticipate that being a long-term injury because the Bills haven’t brought in anyone for the position yet.

In addition to Beasley and Davis on the COVID-19 quarantine are DTs Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler. We still don’t know when any of the four will be back, but we know it will be four days or less from now.

RB Antonio Williams (neck), TE Tommy Sweeney (foot), DT Harrison Phillips (DT), S Jaquan Johnson (knee), and DL Trevon Hester (back) all missed Wednesday’s practice.