After the Buffalo Bills lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, there were a lot of questions. One of those is why was starting cornerback Christian Benford taken out of the game in favor of 35-year-old cornerback Josh Norman who was elevated from the practice squad for the second time.
Benford earned the CB2 job in preseason and then became the Bills’ CB1 after Tre’Davious White suffered a season-ending Achilles injury back in Week 4. To this point of the season, Benford’s done a nice job of shutting down opposing receivers and recording 30 combined tackles and four passes defensed in nine games as a starter. So why was he sitting on the bench for the second half of the game?
While the Bills’ didn’t report an injury to Benford during the game, after the loss Benford said that he had an injury and was seen wearing a compression sleeve on his right leg.
CB Christian Benford said that he has a right leg injury. He had a sleeve on his right leg and said that they would know more tomorrow.— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) November 6, 2023
Then why didn’t the Buffalo Bills report the injury during the game? Most likely because it was something that Benford had been dealing with the entire time. The second-year cornerback was added to the team’s injury report on Friday afternoon and was listed with a hamstring injury. While he didn’t have a game-day designation and started last night, it’s quite plausible that the hamstring just continued to tighten and slow him down as the game progressed.
During his postgame press conference, head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that it was a hamstring injury that was keeping Benford on the sideline, but didn’t say why it wasn’t reported during the game.
Bills HC Sean McDermott said CB Christian Benford tweaked his hamstring. Benford did not play in the second half— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 6, 2023
Should Benford need to be sidelined for any length of time, the Bills will be down to Dane Jackson, newly acquired Rasul Douglas, and Josh Norman (who is technically still on the practice squad) as cornerbacks.