Speedy Bills WR Suffers Major Setback in Training Camp

Marquez Stevenson

Getty Marquez Stevenson runs after making a catch in a game against the Green Bay Packers.

Marquez Stevenson just hit a major setback in his battle to make the Buffalo Bills‘ final roster.

The 24-year-old wide receiver was forced to leave the team’s practice early on August 3 after suffering a foot injury, and could now miss a significant amount of time. The injury could be particularly harmful as Stevenson is fighting for a spot in a crowded receiver room, with some believing he is on the bubble this season. He joins a number of other Bills players who have gone down with injuries during training camp.

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Stevenson’s Setback

Bills head coach Sean McDermott delivered some bad news on Stevenson on Thursday, saying he would miss several weeks after injuring his foot. That will likely wipe out a significant chunk of the team’s preseason games, which begin next week. McDermott said the injury was unfortunate for Stevenson as he was having a strong training camp.

The 2021 draft pick could have a difficult task in making the team’s 53-man roster this season, as The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted in his pre-camp preview of the wide receiver position.

“Of the players who spent time on the 53-man roster last year, Stevenson faces the biggest battle to make the team again this year,” Buscaglia wrote. “The Bills hoped Stevenson would seize the return specialist role when they brought him back from injured reserve last year. As a rookie, Stevenson didn’t inspire confidence with some ball security issues, which led to coach Sean McDermott making him inactive in both playoff games and the regular-season finale.”

Stevenson had more issues with ball security earlier in the offseason practices, while working as a wide receiver. Buscaglia predicted that he would need a strong showing as a kick returner during the preseason or else risk being stuck on the practice squad.

This is now the second straight training camp that Stevenson was hit with an injury. He suffered a head injury during the 2021 preseason and was placed on injured reserve until the team’s Thanksgiving game against the New Orleans Saints.

Stevenson appeared in five games last season, returning averaging 9.4 yards on 14 punts returns and 23.6 yards on seven kick returns. He failed to earn the trust of McDermott, and was benched during games played in inclement weather as the Bills coach moved sure-handed safety Micah Hyde into return duties.

Bills Hit by Injuries in Training Camp

Stevenson was the latest member of the Bills to go down during training camp. Though the second-year wide receiver’s ailment is the most serious of the bunch, other players have dealt with dings as well.

All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer suffered an elbow injury earlier in the week, which McDermott said would keep him out for a while.

“It’s going to be some days here, maybe a week or two,” McDermott. “We’ll just see, he’s a tough guy.”

Hyde also suffered a hip injury that has left him limited. Both Hyde and Poyer are expected to be ready for the start of the season. The team has not given an exact timeline on Stevenson’s injury.

The Bills shifted gears after the injuries, turning their Tuesday practice into a no-contact walk-through that was also closed to the media.

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