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Bills vs. Chiefs: Sean McDermott says key players are getting healthier

McDermott said that some players were held out of Week 5 to give them more time to heal

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

As the Buffalo Bills prepare for their Week 6 game with the Kansas City Chiefs—a much-anticipated matchup between the AFC’s first- and second-ranked teams that have become rivals over the past three seasons—head coach Sean McDermott addressed the injury situation that has plagued the AFC East division leaders.

“We are at a pretty good spot with some of these guys getting healthy,” McDermott said about the lengthy list that the Bills had to put out the past three weeks. “Last week (in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers) we held some guys out that were getting close.”

McDermott didn’t give any definitive “who’s in and who’s out” updates, other than to say that wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie is still in concussion protocol and that everyone else is improving and still listed as day-to-day.

When specifically asked about cornerback Tre’Davious White, who returned to the team last week after having started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, McDermott was non-committal.

“We continue to take it one day at a time,” he said. “When he’s ready to roll, he’ll be out there.”

McDermott said that he was encouraged by the play of some of the team’s young defensive backs as they have been filling in for White, and safeties Micah Hyde (who is on IR with a neck injury) and Jordan Poyer (who missed two of the past three games due to injuries).

“I think he’s just getting started,” Buffalo’s head coach said of safety Damar Hamlin, who has had to step up to fill a big role usually played by Hyde. “I thought he played good football yesterday, as did (safety) Jaquan Johnson.” Johnson filled in for Poyer.

McDermott went on to say that rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam also did well filling in for the injured White, and said that all three of the young players were gaining experience and learning each week.

When asked about the return of defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips, who were both active during Sunday’s 38-3 win over the Steelers, McDermott said that the pair was getting healthier.

“They are a big part of what we do. We rely a lot on our defensive line.” McDermott said that having Oliver and Phillips back would always be a benefit, but that the team is still playing it conservative with the pair of defensive tackles. “They aren’t where they want to be yet, but they are getting better.”

Bills fans everywhere are going to be hanging on McDermott’s every word this week as they hold their breath in hopes that they will have as many of their starters active come Sunday in Kansas City.