While the statuses of safety Micah Hyde and guard Cody Ford are still up in the air for Sunday, the Buffalo Bills now know they’ll be without at least four more players when they take on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale tomorrow.
Saturday morning, the Bills announced that CB Josh Norman tested positive for coronavirus and was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and will not travel or play in Buffalo’s game at Arizona.
The Bills will also be without tight end Tyler Kroft, cornerback Levi Wallace, and safety Dean Marlowe. Per NFL contract tracing protocols, Kroft, Wallace, and Marlowe were defined to have close contact with Norman and won’t be able to travel to Arizona. Defensive assistant coach Leonard Johnson is also not traveling to Arizona.
This is the second time the Bills have been hit with a coronavirus scare after tight end Dawson Knox contracted the virus earlier this year. During that scare, tight end Tyler Kroft was saved by the birth of his daughter and was the only tight end available to play against the New York Jets.
Josina Anderson did report that she spoke with Norman shortly after the news broke and said that he sounded strong and also produced a positive and a negative test twice.
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Impact of Coronavirus Diagnosis
Heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals, the Bills were set to have all three cornerbacks, Tre’Davious White, Norman and Wallace, for the first time this season. But, after the COVID-19 diagnosis, the Bills will be struggling for depth in the secondary.
When Hyde missed time against the New England Patriots, Marlowe was the safety who stepped up in his place and recovered Cam Newton’s late fumble to seal the victory. With Marlowe out and Hyde’s status up in the air, Buffalo’s second safety spot is questionable.
Hyde could play on Sunday, but the Bills also elevated cornerbacks, Daryl Worley and Dane Jackson, along with safety Josh Thomas, linebacker Darron Lee and wide receiver Jake Kumerow from the practice squad.
Lee was a former first-round pick out of Ohio State and also started four games for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs last season. He could play a role in the linebacking corp on Sunday with Matt Milano still sidelined.
Worley spent time with McDermott’s Carolina Panthers early in his career and spent the early part of this season with the Dallas Cowboys where he started four games and tallied 10 tackles and one pass defense.
Next Man Up
The Bills have always adopted the next man up mentality, when guys go down the next man is responsible to produce at a high level. Former Pitt Panther Dane Jackson was a prime example of that earlier this season when Josh Norman couldn’t go against the New York Jets.
He stepped in on about 48 hours notice to earn his first career start and played a crucial role in the Bills secondary as he secured his first career interception in the 18-10 AFC East victory.
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