Bills Get Good News on Return of Key Offensive Lineman

Tommy Doyle

Getty Tommy Doyle looks on before a Buffalo Bills game.

The Buffalo Bills made some moves to bolster their offensive line through free agency this offseason, and could now get another big boost in the form of a key player’s return from a season-ending injury.

Offensive tackle Tommy Doyle suffered a torn ACL in the team’s September loss to the Miami Dolphins and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve, but has progressed through his rehab and was able to participate in a limited fashion at this week’s mandatory minicamp. As The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia reported, Doyle appeared healthy and could now be on track to join teammates as a full participant in training camp in July.

‘Huge Marker’ for Buffalo Bills Tackle

As Buscaglia noted, this week’s practice was a major milestone for Doyle, a fifth-round pick in 2021. Doyle has been an important depth player for the Bills, serving as the top backup and catching a touchdown pass in the team’s 47-17 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game in 2022.

Doyle now appears on track to rejoin the team soon and could be ready to start the season, Buscaglia noted.

“But mandatory minicamp marked a huge marker for Doyle, as he worked in team drills for the first time since his season-ending injury,” Buscaglia wrote. “That step likely puts him in a great spot for training camp in late July, not only to be healthy and ready to play but to compete for the Bills’ primary reserve tackle role in 2023.”

Doyle suffered the injury in a heat-scorched game on the road in Miami in which the Bills suffered a spate of other injuries. After losing three offensive linemen, Doyle filled in and played through the remainder of the game with his own injury — which the team learned after the game was actually a torn ACL.

“We get done with the game and you know, I knew that he had had a knee injury or a leg injury,” head coach Sean McDermott said at the time. “I go back on the plane on the way home just to check on the guys and I said ‘Tommy, how you doing?’ he’s like, ‘Ah, I’m fine, it’s nothing.’ And then next morning, I get the communication from our training staff that has a torn ACL and he’s out for the season.”

Buffalo Bills Making Moves at Offensive Line

Doyle’s expected return could help add depth to a position that saw some major moves this offseason. The team signed free-agent guard Connor McGovern, who spent the last four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and is expected to compete for a starting job this year.

The Bills also used a second-round pick on Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence. Spectrum News 1 reporter Jon Scott tweeted that the rookie could challenge incumbent starter Ryan Bates for the starting role in the coming season.

“Bates contract isn’t big enough to feel he *has* to start should O’Cyrus Torrence come in and win the job this year. It’s absolutely one they could get out of in 2024 to open spot for Torrence… or not too bad to eat as reserve… or even kick in to center.”

Read More