On the latest episode of Billieve: A Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast, host John Boccacino offers his thoughts on a newsy week out of One Bills Drive, discussing the injury suffered by presumed starting tight end Tyler Kroft, the decision to bring O.J. Simpson’s No. 32 jersey back into the mix, and news on a pair of former Bills who work in the media.
Kroft, who signed a three-year deal this offseason with the Bills, suffered a broken foot on the opening day of Organized Team Activities (OTAss) and is expected to miss between 3-4 months, putting his status for opening day (Sept. 8 vs. the New York Jets) in severe jeopardy. With Kroft on the shelf the next few months, there are now opportunities for Jason Croom, Lee Smith, and rookies Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, and even Moral Stephens and Mik’Quan Deane to step up and contribute.
Shifting gears, Boccacino discusses the decision for the Bills to issue Simpson’s No. 32 jersey, which had been unofficially retired and out of use for 42 years, to special teamer/running back Senorise Perry for the 2019 season. While Simpson’s on-field accomplishments were legendary, they have been tarnished by his off-field antics, including a double-murder trial in 1995 (Simpson was acquitted), and a conviction in 2007 of armed robbery.
Despite those off-field issues, Simpson’s name sits on the Bills’ Wall of Fame, and his No. 32 jersey is still retired at USC. Simpson is in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame—honors befitting one of the game’s greatest running backs who was named the NFL’s most valuable player in 1973, and was a five-time, first-team All-Pro as a member of the Bills.
The decision to award the No. 32 to a current player is sure to draw mixed reactions among Bills fans. But then again, maybe by assigning No. 32 to an unassuming player like Perry represents a shift in the team’s mentality and demonstrates that the jersey doesn’t hold the same significance as it did in the ‘70s, when Simpson was galloping and gliding his way to glory?
What do you think, Bills fans? How worried should the team be about the Tyler Kroft injury? What do you think about the decision to re-issue O.J. Simpson’s No. 32 jersey? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section (please be civil!), and check out our podcast for thoughts on these topics and more on the latest Billieve: A Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast.
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