Sean McDermott started the day after Thanksgiving with big news.
During his appearance on WGR 550 Friday morning, the Buffalo Bills head coach announced that second-year tackle Cody Ford will be done for the season after he suffered a knee injury during practice on Wednesday.
Ford was working back from an ankle injury that he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9.
McDermott confirmed the news during Friday morning’s press conference. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that it was a torn meniscus.
#Bills OL Cody Ford is out for the season, coach Sean McDermott announced on WGR 550. He suffered a torn meniscus, source said, and he’s set for surgery that will take 3-4 months of rehab. Should make a full recovery. But a big blow.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 27, 2020
“It’s unfortunate when you have a guy go down,” McDermott said during his press conference. “That being said, we’re confident in the guys that we have moving around a little bit and we’re just thankful that we have a little bit of position flexibility.”
During his appearance on WGR 550, McDermott also said that Mitch Morse would start at center on Sunday, returning from a concussion that he suffered against the New England Patriots in Week 8.
Due to injuries across the entire offensive line, the Bills won’t be able to play one game with their top five offensive linemen this season.
Jon Feliciano missed the beginning of the season with a pectoral injury and returned against the Patriots and Ford was in and out of the lineup all season with knee and ankle injuries.
Continuity along the offensive front is crucial when it comes to protecting the quarterback and jump-starting the run game. The Bills were set to have their entire starting offensive line back from last year, but with injuries and the release of Quinton Spain earlier this season, it has been a hard process to handle.
“It’s frustrating but it happens sometimes and it just so happens that it’s with our offensive linemen this year,” McDermott said. “I appreciate the resiliency of the group, and I’m excited to watch the guys play on Sunday.”
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What Losing Ford Does to the Offensive Line
Losing the former Oklahoma Sooner is devastating news for the Bills, but luckily Buffalo’s offensive line is as versatile as they come.
Throughout this season, Buffalo’s offensive linemen have played multiple positions.
After returning from his pectoral injury, Feliciano had to slide in at center almost immediately after Morse went down with his concussion. Brian Winters, Ike Boettger, and Ryan Bates have all been flexible as well, but Ford’s injury also takes away flexibility.
He had transitioned between tackle and guard this season and had displayed a lot of versatility for just a second-year lineman.
The Mitch Morse Saga is Finished
Morse’s status over the past few weeks has been unknown.
After clearing the concussion protocol and practicing for a full week heading into Buffalo’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, Morse didn’t play a snap when the Bills went West.
It left media to question Morse’s health or if he had fallen out of the starting rotation like Spain had earlier this season. Throughout the past two weeks, McDermott played it close to the vest though and said that he felt they had built ‘continuity’ along the offensive line when Morse was out.
Now, for the first time since suffering the fifth concussion of his career, Morse is returning to the starting lineup and it comes at the perfect time as the Bills are set to face a tough Los Angeles Chargers defensive front.
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