There’s heavy pressure for the Buffalo Bills to notch a Week 2 win against the Miami Dolphins after suffering a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, and the team has suddenly caught a break by default that will help boost their chances.
On September 17, Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores announced that Will Fuller V, their most exciting deep threat wide receiver, would not be practicing on Friday, nor would he be suiting up for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
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Fuller was forced to miss the Dolphins’ Week 1 game against the Patriots stemming from a suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs last season with the Houston Texans. But it’s a major surprise to learn the 27-year-old receiver will remain out in Week 2.
The Notre Dame alum’s suspension is over and he is not injured. Flores explained that Fuller will remain out indefinitely due to personal reasons.
“I’ve had multiple conversations with him last couple of days,” Flores said. “He is definitely dealing with a personal issue. I respect his privacy, and I ask that everyone respects his privacy. We support Will, and we’ll take it one day at a time.”
While Flores didn’t specifically define what issues were keeping Fuller from playing, he relayed that it was a sudden shift in his player’s personal life:
Things arise in our lives. That’s kind of what he’s dealing with right now. He has our support. He has my support. Is it a surprise? Things happen, and when they happen, they’re not part of your normal every day — it’s a surprise from that standpoint. But you kind of deal with it. He’s dealing with it, and we’ll support him. We’ll just make our adjustments as a team, play without him and move forward.
Fuller Has Deleted Both His Twitter & Instagram Accounts
Anticipation was high to see Fuller take the field for the first time in a Dolphins jersey, and his appearance at practice earlier this week made it seem like his premiere was imminent.
Fuller signed a one-year, $10.6 million deal with the Dolphins during the offseason, a contract that includes $3 million in added incentives that he may have to forfeit if he remains out indefinitely, per Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman.
“If he doesn’t return, he would likely have to repay the $9,635,011 signing bonus in his contract,” Winderman reported.
While Fuller has since taken down both his Instagram and Twitter accounts amid his personal issues, he received a ton of support and well wishes from fans on Twitter.
With Fuller out, expect Dolphins’ DeVante Parker to lead the team in receptions, with rookie Jalen Waddle receiving more looks for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Bills Are Looking to Bounce Back with a Win in Week 2
Even though the Bills have been 7-1 against the Miami Dolphins since Sean McDermott took over as head coach in 2017, neither quarterback Josh Allen nor wide receiver Stefon Diggs is taking anything for granted following the team’s 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills routed the Dolphins 56-26 last season, so Allen is expecting to face a team wanting nothing more than sweet revenge. “We’re focused on going into a hostile environment and trying to execute,” he said on facing the Dolphins in Week 2.
Diggs, who was only targeted 13 times but led the team with nine receptions for 69 yards against the Steelers, is ready to have more of an impact in Week 2. “We just got to execute at a higher level,” Diggs said. “We did some things well; we didn’t do some things well. When you watch the tape it’s never as bad as it seems and it’s never as good as it seems.”
Buffalo faces off against their AFC East rival at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on September 19 at 1 p.m. ET.