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LeSean McCoy injury inevitably leads to Bills-Ray Rice rhetoric

Would the Bills panic hard enough about the potential of not having LeSean McCoy for Week 1 to parlay it into a Ray Rice signing? We're at least going to have to discuss the possibility today, aren't we?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Don't look now, but the Buffalo Bills are maybe talking about thinking about signing Ray Rice. That per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1, who says that the discussion began when LeSean McCoy injured his hamstring on Tuesday evening.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday morning that McCoy is expected to be healthy for the Bills' Week 1 matchup with Indianapolis on September 13, but hamstring injuries are notoriously tricky to come back from, and Garafolo is reporting that McCoy has been given a recovery timetable of 3-5 weeks.

Still, this feels a bit like the Bills floating the idea of signing Rice through the media to gauge the reaction from a PR standpoint, so that they have a point of reference in the event that things go south on the McCoy front in the next three-plus weeks. There are even reputable reports out there contradicting this information directly - from John Wawrow of the Associated Press - to douse the flames a bit (if not entirely).

Rice, 28, has not appeared in the NFL since the 2013 season, during which he averaged a paltry 3.1 yards per rush. He missed the entire 2014 season while indefinitely suspended by the league following the release of a highly-publicized video in which he knocked his then-fiancee, now wife unconscious and dragged her into an elevator. He eventually appealed that indefinite suspension, and won - he is eligible to play at any point - but the NFL also made drastic changes to its personal conduct policy as a result of this case, as well.

Rex Ryan is known for taking chances on character risks - his first Bills roster alone plays host to Richie Incognito, IK Enemkpali, and Percy Harvin - and pursuing Rice will not only further that imagery, but take it to new heights. If the Bills truly are discussing this possibility, they'll need to weigh the benefit of adding a rusty, highly-used Rice to the roster against the certain backlash - particularly with Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon, Karlos Williams, and Bryce Brown all expected to be healthy by the regular season opener alongside McCoy, as well.

Is anyone honestly expecting the Bills to make a serious play for Rice, knowing what we know about the likely reaction to that possibility, and the overall health of the Bills' running back group?