Bills Backup TE: Stefon Diggs ‘100% Confident’ in Replacement Option

Stefon Diggs, Tommy Sweeney

Getty Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (L) is confident Tommy Sweeney (R) can step in for Dawson Knox, but there are two more options on the practice squad.

The Buffalo Bills will be without their starting tight end Dawson Knox when they take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 8, however, they have more than a few backups ready to step in as his replacement.

Tommy Sweeney, the only option already on the active roster, stepped in for Knox against the Tennesee Titans and scored his first career NFL touchdown. On Wednesday, Bills top wide receiver Stefon Diggs said “he has 100% confidence in Tommy Sweeney,” per Bills reporter Maddy Glab.

However, on Thursday, head coach Sean McDermott made sure another tight end was getting in some reps, Kahale Warring, who was signed to the Bills practice squad in early September.

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Warring, who’s 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds, was waived by three different teams over the course of 10 days before finally landing a contract in Buffalo. In August, the former 3rd round pick draft was first released by the Houstons Texans, the team which drafted the 24-year-old tight end in 2019, before getting picked up and let go by both the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

The San Diego State alum has a lot of promise based on his performance at the 2019 NFL Draft Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds, completed 19 reps of the 225-pound bench press, and impressed scouts with a 36.5-inch vertical leap.

As for Sweeney, he’s ready to roll. “Tommy Sweeney says he’s ready for Sunday after being in the offense for close to three years now and having time to focus and improve on the small details of the game,” Glab tweeted on Thursday.

The Bills Could Also Activate TE Quintin Morris From the Practice Squad

Aside from Sweeney and Warring, tight end Quintin Morris is another option the Bills can use as Knox’s temporary replacement. The Bills signed Morris to a three-year, $2.4 million contract following the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Bowling Green alum was a stand-out in college, the 22-year-old was the team’s leader in both receptions and receiving yards in 2020, with 20 receptions and 248 receiving yards in five games. In 2019, Morris, who’s 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds,caught 55 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games, as reported by Buffalo Rumblings.

Because the Bills’ upcoming schedule is void of any major roadblocks, after playing the Dolphins this Sunday, whom they beat 35-0 earlier this season, they go on to face the Jets (1-5) in Week 9, and Jaguars (1-5) in Week 10. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll might give both Morris Warring a shot to play in the upcoming matchups.

When Is Knox Set to Return?

Knox, who broke his hand during the Bills’ Week 6 matchup against the Titans on Monday Night Football, underwent successful surgery the very next day.

Knox, who was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, 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.

The hope is for Knox to return sooner than later, as he’s having a breakout season thus far. 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.

Dawson Knox

GettyDawson 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.

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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