Setback Leaves Bills WR in Danger of Missing AFC East Showdown

Jake Kumerow

Getty Jake Kumerow celebrates a touchdown against the Denver Broncos.

Just days after a shocking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills got even more bad news.

The Bills have already been hit with a number of key injuries and players lost to the COVID-19 reserve list, and now another is joining that group. The team announced on Tuesday that wide receiver Jake Kumerow was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list as well, leaving him in jeopardy of missing the team’s AFC East showdown with the New York Jets on Sunday.

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Shorthanded Bills

Kumerow is now the fourth Bills player to land on the COVID-19 reserve list in close to a week, joining wide receiver Tanner Gentry and quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Jake Fromm. As Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk noted, Kumerow has been a mainstay of the special teams unit for the Bills but has not seen as much action on offense. He has played 55 snaps on offense through eight games and has no catches on two targets.

Kumerow’s setback could also raise fears that the outbreak within the team may not be over yet. Last week, after the Bills lost their second- and third-string quarterbacks, head coach Sean McDermott was hesitant about whether there could be more to come.

“I’m not a doctor so I can never say ‘confident’ — I don’t want to use the word confident,” McDermott said of the team’s COVID-19 situation, via ESPN. “We did the best we could and we’re going to continue to try and do the best we can and try and limit the spread as much as we can by the habits we use here and hopefully outside the building also.”

As Pro Football Talk’s Simmons noted, Kumerow’s situation could lead to even more trouble for the Bills. Unvaccinated players must go on the COVID-19 list for five days if they are determined close contacts, putting teammate and fellow wide receiver Cole Beasley in jeopardy of missing the game as well.

Bills Looking to Bounce Back

Sunday’s matchup with the Jets takes on new significance after the shocking upset at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Bills are now in a tight race for the AFC East, leading the New England Patriots by just a half game.

Buffalo’s offensive line struggled against the Jaguars, leaving quarterback Josh Allen frequently scrambling for time to throw and sending him to one of his worst games of the season. McDermott put the blame on himself this week, saying the team should have been prepared for the pressure.

“It wasn’t good enough,” McDermott said. “I mean, listen, at the end of the day, they did some things that quite honestly, we should have seen some of them, maybe not all of them. But we got to do a better job, that’s the bottom line. And it’s got to continue to improve as we go through the season for us to continue to improve as a football team.”

The Bills could be getting some good news on the injury front as well. The team noted that offensive tackle Spencer Brown, who missed the game against Jacksonville with a back injury, is set to return to practice this week and could play against the Jets.

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