Bills Urged to Bench Veteran RB After Costly Miscue

Latavius Murray

Getty Latavius Murray runs the ball in a Buffalo Bills preseason game.

The Buffalo Bills go into Week 18 facing a critical game against the Miami Dolphins where a win would give them the division and a No. 2 seed and a loss could send them out of the playoffs entirely.

Some insiders are suggesting the Bills make a big change on offense ahead of the January 6 game, sending veteran running back Latavius Murray to the bench amid his shrinking role and struggling performance. Murray had a critical miscue in the team’s December 31 win over the New England Patriots, with another seasoned veteran potentially waiting to fill in from the practice squad.

Latavius Murray Getting ‘Scraps’

Murray struggled on Sunday, rushing just one time, a 3rd-and-1 carry where he failed to gain a yard. He later had a costly drop on another third-down play. Reporter Joe DiBiase of WGR 550 suggested that the Bills could follow up last week’s benching of veteran edge rusher Von Miller by sending Murray to the bench for the season finale.

“Next veteran to be a healthy inactive should be Latavius Murray,” DiBiase wrote on X.

Bills reporter Bradley Gelber joined in questioning why the team continued to utilize the 33-year-old running back.

“Why is Latavius Murray active at this point?” Gelber wrote on X.

The Bills signed Murray last offseason as part of an effort to overhaul their rushing game, coming along with fellow veteran Damien Harris. Though he played an important role in short-yardage situations and as a counter to speedier back James Cook earlier this season, Murray has seen his role in the offense steadily dwindling in recent weeks. Murray has 79 carries for 300 yards this season with four touchdowns, adding 17 catches for 119 yards.

As CBS Sports pointed out, the Bills have leaned more heavily on Cook in recent weeks. The report predicted that the Bills could call on practice squad back Leonard Fournette to fill Murray’s role.

“Murray has just the one carry over the past two games and hasn’t exceeded 32 percent of the offensive snaps in any of the past four games,” the report noted. “With James Cook thriving in the bell cow role and quarterback Josh Allen tied for second in the league with 15 rushing touchdowns, it’s only scraps left for Murray and Ty Johnson, and now Leonard Fournette is even an option.”

Bills Could Make Switch to Leonard Fournette

As Murray struggled in recent games, some suggested the Bills turn over his role to fellow veteran Fournette. The Bills signed the 28-year-old back to their practice squad on October 30 after Harris was placed on injured reserve, but he has been elevated to the active roster just one time. Fournette had five carries for 20 yards in the 24-22 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on December 23.

Fournette opened up about his new role in a Buffalo News article published on December 5, saying it has been a “humbling” experience to remain on the practice squad but insisting he was ready to contribute.

“I’m comfortable, up to speed,” Fournette said. “I’m ready, man. Just waiting on my opportunity. Of course, my first time really being in this position, so you know, I have my days. I think it’s humbling me, testing me, my faith and everything, but I’m getting better.”

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