The Buffalo Bills will be short a tight end for the remainder of the season.
The Bills announced on Monday that tight end Tommy Sweeney will miss the rest of the 2020 season after a cardiologist discovered that Sweeney has myocarditis, which is a condition that is connected to covid-19.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) November 23, 2020
During Monday’s press conference, Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced the news and added that Sweeney looks to be in good shape, but didn’t know much more than that.
“I saw him today and he looks to be in good spirits,” McDermott said. “It’s unfortunate because he’s had a rough year, with the injury in the early part of the year and now with the covid and the residual piece of the covid from what it appears. So it’s unfortunate but he’s a good football play and we know he’s a guy that we believe in and we can wait to get him back on the field when we can.”
Sweeney was initially placed on the covid-19 list on Oct. 24.
According to the Mayo Clinic, myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and it can affect your heart muscle and the heart’s electrical system, which would reduce the heart’s ability to pump, causing rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.
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How it Happened
On Oct 24, ahead of their matchup with the New York Jets, the Bills announced that tight end Dawson Knox had tested positive for covid-19 and was placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, along with three other tight ends. Sweeney, who was on the physically unable to perform list at the time due to a foot injury he suffered in the offseason, was in that group.
Since then, Sweeney has been on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. Before breaking the news on Monday, McDermott did say that Sweeney was targeting to return this week before a cardiologist discovered the myocarditis.
Sweeney is in his second NFL season and was a 7th round pick by the Buffalo Bills out of Boston College in 2019. He’s made eight career catches, all in 2019, for 114 yards. Last season against the New York Jets, Sweeney caught five passes for 76 yards.
What This Means for the Bills
The Bills have plenty of tight ends outside of Sweeney, so although the news is sad the Bills should be alright as they gear up for the stretch run.
Throughout 2020, Tyler Kroft and Knox have been the top two tight end targets for Josh Allen. Kroft has three touchdowns and 119 receiving yards on 12 catches. Knox hasn’t found the endzone yet, but he does have 109 receiving yards on eight catches in just six games.
Lee Smith, who also missed time on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, is also in the mix at times but he primarily plays a pass blocking role. Reggie Gilliam also has two catches for 16 yards and a touchdown.