The Buffalo Bills were informed Sunday morning that running back TJ Yeldon had tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Yeldon, a veteran running back who has been inactive for most of the season, won’t travel to New England with the team for their Monday Night Football matchup against the New England Patriots. He’s only played in three games this season and has carried the ball 10 times for 70 yards. He also caught one pass for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Although Yeldon hasn’t played into the equation much this season, the Bills have been looking to improve their rushing game as the season has gone on. Early on this year, they were a pass-heavy offense as Josh Allen emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and tore the league apart through the first four weeks of the season.
The Bills have only rushed for over 100 yards in seven of their 14 games this season but they have eclipsed that total in three of their last four games. Buffalo set a season-high in Week 8 against the Patriots when Devin Singletary and Zack Moss each rushed for over 80 yards and the Bills rushed for 190 yards as a team.
Singletary led the team with 86 rushing yards and Moss rushed for 81 yards and scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his NFL career. Allen also pitched in 23 yards and a touchdown as the Bills dominated the Patriots on the ground.
The Bills have also set the second and third-highest total of the year in their past four games as well. They rushed for 172 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers after their bye week, where they looked to focus on developing the running game more after struggling with it for most of the season.
Buffalo topped that mark this past week against the Denver Broncos as Moss, Singletary, and Allen combined for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Allen rushed for 33 yards and two touchdowns while Moss rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries. Singletary rushed for 68 yards on eight carries and found the end zone once as well.
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Another COVID-19 Situation
The Bills have had a few coronavirus situations this season, but Yeldon’s positive test has the least amount of consequences of the other two this season.
Cornerback Josh Norman tested positive before the Arizona Cardinals game earlier this season. Defensive backs Levi Wallace and Dean Marlowe, along with tight end Tyler Kroft, were deemed close contacts and couldn’t play. All of them returned after the break to play against the Chargers.
That was just their second situation of the season as tight end Dawson Knox tested positive for coronavirus earlier this season, which took down a majority of the tight end’s room, other than Reggie Gilliam and Tyler Kroft.
Are the Buffalo Bills in Position for Another Running Game Explosion?
The last time the Bills and the Patriots met, the Bills practiced just two passing plays on the Friday leading into the game and their play script on Sunday showed it. The Bills only attempted 18 passes and ran the ball 38 times over the course of the game as the weather called for a run-heavy game plan.
On Monday, the weather won’t be as bad and Allen could be in a position to throw all over the Stephon Gilmore-less Patriots. He only threw for 154 yards and an interception in their first meeting and after another big game against the Denver Broncos, the game-script could call for a pass-heavy night as the Bills look to sweep the Patriots for the first time since 1999.
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