The Buffalo Bills will be without their No. 2 receiver when they take on the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.
Gabe Davis was a surprise addition to the injury report this week, suffering an ankle injury on a non-contact play in practice and officially listed as questionable. Though there had been some hope that Davis might be able to play, the team announced that he would be inactive for the game — and could face an uncertain future beyond that.
Davis Inactive for Bills Primetime Game
The Bills added Davis to the inactive list before Monday’s game, but his fate seemed certain long before that. Close to two hours before kickoff, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Bills receiver was not able to recover in time for the Monday Night Football matchup.
“WR Gabe Davis (questionable, ankle) is not expected to play tonight vs. the #Titans, per source. Team has held out hope but playing was considered an uphill battle since Saturday’s injury. Out, barring surprise,” he tweeted.
It likely would have been a long shot for Davis to play in Monday’s contest. NFL insider Mike Garafolo had initially reported Davis’s injury and the air of pessimism around his status.
“Wide receiver Gabe Davis popped up as questionable with an ankle issue on the Bills injury report yesterday,” Garafolo said on the NFL Network. “I’m told he sprained his ankle on a non-contact play. The Bills telling me he still has a chance to play. Sounds to me like he’s more toward the doubtful side of questionable. If you have to make a call fantasy football wise, I’d go with a contingency plan.”
There had been signs leading up to the game that Davis could be able to play, however. A video posted by Thad Brown of WROC-TV showed Davis walking down the stadium with no visible limp.
Davis Taking on Bigger Role in Bills Offense
The loss of Davis will likely be a blow to the Bills. After a slow start to 2021, the third-year receiver took on a much bigger role in the offense down the final stretch of the season and through the playoffs, including his record-setting four-touchdown performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional-round loss.
Davis picked right up in Buffalo’s 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener, catching four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
As Jeremy Brener of SI.com’s Bills Central noted, the Bills could look to a number of pass-catchers to help pick up the slack.
“With the Titans thin at cornerback, it could open up opportunities for other Bills receivers, including Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder,” Brener wrote. “McKenzie caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown against the Rams last week, while Crowder caught three passes for 28 yards.”
Brener added that the Bills could look for more pass-catching production out of the backfield. Running back Zack Moss caught six passes in the season-opening win over the Rams, second only to Stefon Diggs for the game. The Bills could also look to rookie running back James Cook, who is seen as the most talented receiver out of the backfield but was limited to just three snaps in the season opener after losing a fumble on his first NFL carry.
Because Davis suffered his injury so late in the week, the team had not yet given a long-term assessment of how many games he could miss beyond Monday.