Bills’ Stefon Diggs Predicts Big Role for Returning Teammate

John Brown

Getty John Brown makes a move after making a catch in a Buffalo Bills game.

Stefon Diggs is excited to get the band back together.

After being hit by a spate of injuries to their wide receiver corps, the Buffalo Bills added some familiar depth by signing former No. 1 wide receiver John Brown to their practice squad. Brown played with the Bills for two seasons, including Diggs’ first year with the team, and now has the chance to add some stability to a position group that has struggled with injuries and inconsistency.

Diggs Happy for Brown’s Return

The Bills are down a pair of receivers from their opening-day roster, with Jamison Crowder and Jake Kumerow both on injured reserve with ankle injuries. They also lost Isaiah Hodgins, the practice squad fill-in who was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants after being released by the Bills. Hodgins likely would have returned to the practice squad had he cleared waivers, but the Bills instead opted to bring back Brown.

Brown left the Bills after the 2020 season and saw playing time with two teams last year, but had no receptions. He was a free agent this season before signing with the Bills for a second stint.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Diggs predicted that Brown wouldn’t be on the practice squad for long.

“It was so nice to see him,” Diggs said, via reporter Alex Brasky on Twitter. “Smoke is my guy… Happy to have him back… He looks smooth, he looks good… A lot of the old stuff carried over to the new offense. I think he is going to be out there playing real real soon.”

Brown’s debut with the Bills may not come this week, as the Bills face a short week before taking on the New England Patriots on Thursday night, but Brown has the chance to contribute.

Brown was the team’s leading receiver in the 2019-20 season, making 72 catches for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. He saw his production drop the next season as the Bills traded for Diggs, with Brown making 33 receptions for 458 yards and three touchdowns.

Bills Face Key Stretch

Brown joins the team as they face a key stretch, trailing the Miami Dolphins by a game in the AFC East with four divisional games remaining. The offense is coming out of a rough stretch where quarterback Josh Allen threw six interceptions in a three-game span, but they have righted the ship and won two straight games. The Bills have also seen an uptick in their rushing game, averaging 170 yards on the ground over the course of the last three games.

Though the Bills are still looking up at the Dolphins in the AFC East, they are within striking distance of not only the division, but the top overall seed in the conference. Diggs said their ability to roll with the punches has been key.

“That next man mindset is real,” Diggs said. “I hate to preach it, sound like a broken record, but guys came in and guys playing at a high level. We just preach it to everybody to do the job. You don’t need to do more than your job and you do your 1/11, we’ll find a way, we’ll find a way.”

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