Bills Make Final Decision on TE’s Status for Week 8 Vs. Dolphins

Dawson Knox

Getty Dawson Knox #88 of the Buffalo Bills makes a touchdown catch in the end zone against the Washington Football Team at Highmark Stadium on September 26, 2021.

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox broke his hand during their Week 6 matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. The Bills didn’t take any chances with Knox’s injury, and he underwent successful surgery the very next day.

Knox is expected to be out anywhere from two to four weeks, but following the Bills’ Week 7 bye, the 24-year-old receiver appeared at practice on October 27 with a small bandaid on his right hand.

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While Knox looked to be in great spirits, the Bills revealed that he will not play when Buffalo takes on the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium on Sunday.

While it may seem early to announce his official status, it makes complete sense to give Knox an extra week of rest while the Bills play the Dolphins, a team they absolutely obliterated 35-0 earlier this season.

The Dolphins (1-6) are not just one of the weakest teams in the AFC East, but in the entire NFL. As it stands, the Bills are 13-point favorites to win.

Erring on the Side of Safety, Knox May Not Play in Week 9 or 10 Either

Knox likely wants to get back on the field as soon as possible, as he’s become one of quarterback Josh Allen’s top receivers this season, but the Bills’ upcoming schedule doesn’t provide an urgent need for his return.

The Ringer’s Kyle Brandt joked on Twitter that the Bills basically have three upcoming by weeks playing the Dolphins, Jets (1-5), and Jaguars (1-5) in Week 8, 9, and 10.

While head coach Sean McDermott never takes any game for granted, it’s not like the Bills don’t have a slower of other highly capable receivers. With Knox out, Allen still has an arsenal of wide receivers including Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders.

Who Will Replace Knox as the Bills Starting Tight End?

An exact timetable for Knox’s return has not been given, though the hope is he’ll be able to return to the field “sooner rather than later,” according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. In the meantime, the Bills will need to find a way to replace Knox’s on-field production.

While Tommy Sweeney stepped in for Knox against the Titans and scored his first career NFL touchdown, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggested the Bills make a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars to bring in former Buffalo tight end Jacob Hollister, who was cut by the team in late August months after signing a one-year deal as a free agent.

Whatever the Bills decide to do, the hope is that Knox returns at full health. Knox, who was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, is having a breakout season. During the team’s Week 5 Sunday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he caught three passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, his fourth consecutive game with a touchdown catch.

Through the Bills’ Week 7 bye, the Ole Miss alum ranks ninth among all NFL tight ends in receiving yards (286) and has hauled in a career-best five touchdowns on 21 receptions. Knox is now only three receptions and two yards shy of surpassing his 2020 totals in 12 games played.

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