Gabriel Davis appeared on the injury list for the first time in the team’s final practice before they host the Titans in another primetime matchup.
Davis, who was listed with an ankle injury, had been healthy and active all week but was limited in Saturday’s practice and is questionable for Monday’s game.
During Buffalo’s dominating performance against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, Davis had been a steady target for quarterback Josh Allen, hauling in four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. While Stefon Diggs is undeniably the number-one receiver in Buffalo, Davis has steadily become a solid second option, averaging 22 yards per catch.
If Davis doesn’t suit up, the Bills could line up Jake Kumerow who is listed behind the third-year wide out. Another option could be that Buffalo shuffles receivers around, playing Jamison Crowder and rookie Khalil Shakir alongside Diggs and Isaiah McKenzie, who has taken over the starting slot receiver role this year.
The Bills signed Crowder to a one-year deal during the offseason and worked both him and McKenzie out of the slot position during Week 1 in Los Angeles where Crowder recorded three catchers for 28 yards. Shakir was Buffalo’s fifth-round draft pick who proved himself during training camp and earned a spot on the 53-man roster.
Other concerning news for Buffalo is that Ed Oliver has been ruled out for Monday’s game. Oliver suffered an ankle injury during the second quarter of last week’s game and has been battling the injury all week.
In positive news, Dane Jackson, who head coach Sean McDermott said injured his knee in practice earlier this week, was back to a full participant after not practicing Thursday or Friday. While he’s still listed as questionable for Monday’s game, his full participation in the last practice of the week is definitely a sign that things are trending up for Buffalo’s cornerback.
Should Jackson not be able to go, that puts the pressure on a Bills secondary that is already missing All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White who started the season on injured reserve while recovering from an ACL tear that occurred in Buffalo’s Thanksgiving game last season.
While Buffalo could call on Siran Neal along with rookies Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford to cover Titans receivers should Jackson not be able to play, another option would be to use nickels Taron Johnson and Cam Lewis in a more traditional corner roll.
Tennessee will bring a strong run game to Buffalo led by Derrick Henry, who had 937 yards on the ground last year, including 143 and three touchdowns against the Bills.
While the Bills have looked to strengthen their run defense and control the line of scrimmage, something they did successfully against the Rams last week where they recorded seven sacks without blitzing, they’ve lost a key component to that defense in Oliver and are looking at missing a second piece of their defensive line.
Tim Settle suited up and was limited in practice on Saturday after having been a non-participant on Thursday and Friday. However, despite the progress, he is listed as doubtful for Monday’s game. While Settle is listed behind DaQuan Jones on the Bills’ depth chart, Buffalo rotates their defensive linemen in and out of the game on a regular basis keeping fresh legs on the field as much as possible.
If Oliver and Settle are both out on Monday, that’s two of the Bills’ four defensive tackles, meaning that Jones and Jordan Phillips could see higher snap counts against Tennesse and/or there could be some shuffling of players with A.J. Epenesa and Shaq Lawson, who was inactive in last week’s game, seeing more time as well.
Also, worth noting is that Buffalo signed Prince Emili to their practice squad on Wednesday.
The Titans, who started the week with a lengthy injury list, ended the week with three players who will definitely not suit up on Monday and one who is questionable.
Cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring), running back Dontrell Hilliard (hamstring), and offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (elbow) were all designated as out while wide receiver Kyle Phillips was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.
Offensive tackle Dillon Radunz (neck) and outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi (neck) were both limited in Saturday’s practice but have no designation for Monday’s game.