The Buffalo Bills are facing another major setback to an already injury-depleted offense, with veteran wide receiver Jamison Crowder out indefinitely after suffering an injury on October 2.
Crowder was carted off the field after returning a punt in the team’s 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens, dealing a blow to a wide receiver corps that was already thinned by injury. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport gave a dire update on Crowder’s condition on Monday.
Veteran Bills Receiver Could Miss Months
Rapoport reported that the Bills learned that Crowder had broken his ankle and potentially suffered further damage.
“Bills WR Jamison Crowder suffered a broken ankle in Sunday’s dramatic win over the Ravens, source said. He’ll have additional tests to see what other damage went along with it, but Crowder is now out indefinitely,” Rapoport tweeted.
Crowder had been the team’s primary punt returner, averaging 11 yards on nine returns this season. He also split time with Isaiah McKenzie in the slot, making six catches for 60 yards through four games.
There were already some discouraging signs for Crowder after Sunday’s game when The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia reported that he was seen with a walking boot and crutches.
Injuries Depleting Bills Receiving Corps
Crowder’s diagnosis is the latest bit of bad news for a Bills receiving corps struck hard by injuries early this season. Fellow wide receiver and special teams ace Jake Kumerow is already dealing with a long-term injury of his own, a high-ankle sprain that left him listed as “week to week.”
Another Bills receiver also went down in Sunday’s win over the Ravens. Isaiah McKenzie was evaluated for a head injury after making a key third-down catch, with the team reporting that he was placed into concussion protocol. There is not yet an update on his condition or whether he could play in next week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills have a pair of receivers on the practice squad who could be promoted to replace Crowder and McKenzie. Veteran Tavon Austin has been used as both a receiver and kick returner and could slide into that role if McKenzie is unable to play. In Crowder’s absence, rookie receiver Khalil Shakir returned punts in Sunday’s game. Isaiah Hodgins could also earn a call-up from the practice squad, and second-year receiver Marquez Stevenson is eligible to return from injured reserve starting this week.
The Bills have suffered a number of injuries beyond receivers, losing offensive lineman Tommy Doyle to a season-ending ACL tear. On the defensive side of the ball, the team has seen its secondary depleted with All-Pro safety Micah Hyde lost to a season-ending neck injury.
Fellow All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White remains out while rehabbing a torn ACL suffered last season, but could return at any point in the coming weeks as his stint on the PUP list has come to an end.
Though the Bills have had to call on a number of backups and practice-squad players, head coach Sean McDermott has remained confident in the team.