Bills $52 Million TE Shares Update on Possible Return After Surgery

Dawson Knox

Getty Bills tight end Dawson Knox at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2023.

When the Buffalo Bills (5-3) face the Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) on Sunday Night Football, they will once again be playing without tight end Dawson Knox.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters on October 23 that Knox, who signed a four-year, $52 million extension last season, was undergoing surgery for a wrist injury that he’s been battling through.

McDermott did not give a timetable on Knox’s return, but subsequently placed the veteran on injured reserve, which meant he’d miss at least four weeks. Speaking to reporters for the first time since hitting IR on Wednesday, November 1, Knox shared an update on his status and return date.

“It was one of those things I thought I could play through, and after talking to the doctors, it wasn’t at the point yet to where I needed surgery,” the 26-year-old said of his wrist injury. “That first game after London (against the New York Giants) felt okay, and then got to the [New England] Patriots game and it was just really bothering me. Unfortunately, I felt pretty limited.

“I wanted to try and push through it, but I just knew it was the best decision for me and for the team to get it fixed and knowing that I’ll be fully back in the next few weeks without it lingering or anything.”

Returning to full health will hopefully boost Knox’s production in the back half of the season. In seven games, he’s recorded just 15 receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown.

CBS Sports reported, “His catch rate was down to a career-low 53.6% and he was averaging a career-low 3.6 yards per target. This comes after he was named a Pro Bowler for the first time in his career a year ago, having caught 48 passes for 517 yards and six scores.”

Rookie TE Dalton Kincaid Stepped Up With Dawson Knox Out

Knox’s absence swung the door wide open for Dalton Kincaid, the Bills first-round pick from the 2023 NFL draft to step up. While there was initial concern over the offense being unable to utilize 12 personnel, quarterback Josh Allen and Co. are thriving without it.

After missing Week 6 with a concussion, Kincaid caught all eight of his targets for 75 yards. “Interestingly enough, it came when the Bills ran 12 personnel at a far lower rate than they had all season with both Kincaid and Dawson Knox available,” The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote.

“Knox and Kincaid were on the field together on only 21.6% of snaps. Kincaid had 44 snaps total, with 28 of those as the lone tight end on the field, clearly eating into Knox’s usual game script. With Kincaid’s output, that could be a trend to keep an eye on.”

Kincaid had another fantastic game during the Bills’ 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. The 24-year-old recorded five catches for 65 yards and a score, including a clutch 15-yard sideline catch in the third quarter.

13WHAM’s Dan Fetes posted, “Dalton Kincaid has 30 receptions on 34 targets. The #Bills rookie tight end 88.2% ‘CATCH RATE’ is 2nd best in the NFL, behind only Alvin Kamara.” The rookie’s catch rate “ranks 1st among WRs and TEs with at least 30+ targets.”

Bills QB Josh Allen Did Not Practice on Wednesday

Allen did not participate in practice on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury on his throwing arm. Allen initially hurt his right shoulder against the Giants on October 15, but reaggravated it against the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football.

However, the 27-year-old quarterback told reporters that he’ll “absolutely” be ready to go when the team travels to Paycor Stadium for Sunday Night Football.

“As a thrower, you don’t like feeling any sort of, I wouldn’t even call it pain, just discomfort in there,” Allen said. “So we’re just trying to stay on top of it and get ahead of it when we can.”

The Bills $258 million star said the decision to rest was part of the athletic trainers’ plan to get him as healthy as possible before their Week 9 matchup against the Bengals.

“Obviously, I hate not practicing, I hate not being involved in what we’re doing, but at the same time, I know this is probably what’s best and putting myself in the best situation to make sure that I’m ready to go tomorrow and for Sunday.”

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