The Mitch Morse mystery continues.
When Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott was asked whether or not center Mitch Morse would start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers after the veteran lineman didn’t start against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, McDermott said that Morse was ‘in the mix’. He added that the offensive line had found some “continuity” and “momentum” during Morse’s absence.
“I think we had some momentum coming off the two games, the two wins, we had there back to back when Mitch was out,” McDermott said in Monday’s press conference. “That doesn’t say anything in particular about Mitch, more so we just had some momentum going and some continuity for a small window of time. We just felt like that was the right lineup for that week.”
Throughout the course of the 2020 season, the Bills starting offensive line hasn’t had the opportunity to play at full strength. Jonathan Feliciano missed the first part of the season due to a pectoral injury in training camp and returned during the same game that Morse went down with a concussion.
Starting guard Cody Ford has also been in and out of the lineup this season with both ankle and knee injuries. Before the Bills went into their bye week, McDermott did say that Ford was trending in the right direction.
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Continuity and Momentum
When Morse went down with a concussion against the Patriots on Nov. 1, the Bills recorded their best rushing game of the season. So, that may have been the “continuity” and “momentum” that McDermott was describing during his press conference.
Devin Singletary and rookie Zack Moss both rushed for over 80 yards and Moss found the end zone on the ground for the first two times of his career. Allen also rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown.
The Bills only rushed for 34 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks the week after, but Allen did throw for 415 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked 11 times though. Buffalo also only rushed for 73 yards against the Cardinals last Sunday.
But, heading into their matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, McDermott said he is excited about the group upfront.
“We feel good about a number of the guys up front and we’re getting healthier now finally,” McDermott said. “It’s been a while since we had a consistent lineup. So, we have got some guys and options available to us, Mitch being one of them.”
Rest For a Player with Concussion History?
When Morse didn’t start against the Cardinals and was a healthy scratch altogether, media members pestered McDermott with questions about how Morse may have done something wrong, or if he may have fallen out of the starting lineup like guard Quinton Spain did earlier this season.
But, what if Buffalo’s matchup with the Cardinals was just a way to give Morse an extra two weeks of rest?
Over the course of his six-year career, Morse has dealt with concussion issues. According to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques he’s suffered five since joining the NFL.
Morse cleared the concussion protocol leading up to Buffalo’s game against the Cardinals, but McDermott opted to stick with the offensive line that had played the past two weeks.
With depth on their line at that point in time, McDermott could’ve been giving Morse an extra week of rest heading into the bye week to make sure they had him at full health for the remainder of the season.