Bills Breakout WR Suffers ‘Concerning’ Setback at Practice

Gabriel Davis

Getty Wide receiver Gabe Davis #13 of the Buffalo Bills can't quite hold on to the ball during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Buffalo Bills (2-1) are looking to turn things around when they take on the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) in Week 4, however, they may have to do so without wide receiver, Gabriel Davis.

Davis caught quarterback Josh Allen‘s first scoring pass of the 2022 NFL season again the Los Angeles Rams, but subsequently suffered a non-contact ankle injury during practice and was ruled out for the Bills’ Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans.

The 23-year-old was able to return to action for the Bills’ first divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. While Davis only caught three passes for 37 yards during Buffalo’s 21-19 loss in Miami, several NFL analysts, including NBC Sports‘ Matthew Berry and Bleacher Report‘s Gary Davenport were hyping Davis up for a breakout Sunday against the Ravens.

However, based on Thursday’s practice, it’s not clear if he’ll play at all. Spectrum News 1 Buffalo reporter Jon Scott shared a video of Davis watching practice on September 29 on the left, with a video of the receiver running drills the day before on the right, during which he appears to walk gingerly after taking a slip on the field.

News 4 Buffalo reporter Matt Parrino called Davis’ setback “concerning” after seeing that he was officially listed as a non-participant in practice after being limited on Wednesday.

While the Bills were coming off a short week before facing the Dolphins, the Bills have a full week to prepare for the Ravens, which could bode well for Davis’ injury status.

The Bills Offense Is Banged Up Heading into Week 4

The Bills enter Week 4 as 3.5-point favorites to defeat quarterback Lamar Jackson and Ravens, however, with an ever-growing injury list, they will likely need several backups to step up and start.

If Davis is out, the Bills won’t be able to look to backup receiver Jake Kumerow to get the start, as he suffered an ankle sprain against the Dolphins and has been a non-participant in practice all week.

While Buffalo may activate rookie Khalil Shakir for Sunday’s game, the bulk of Allen’s passes will likely go to Diggs, Isiah McKenzie, and possibly, fullback Reggie Gilliam. As for tight end Dawson Knox, he’s been limited in practice all week.

As for the offensive line, the Bills added more depth on Tuesday by signing former Cardinals guard/tackle Justin Murray, who was limited on Thursday with a foot injury. Pro Bowler Dion Dawkins was a full participant after missing time due to a non-covid-related illness. Ryan Bates was upgraded to limited after suffering a concussion against the Dolphins, while center Mitch Morse, who’s been dealing with an elbow injury, was also limited

Friday’s injury report will offer pivotal insight into which players will be ready to go in Week 4.

Davis Was Named A ‘Guaranteed Riser’for the 2022 NFL Season

While two-time Pro Bowler Stefon Diggs is Allen’s No. 1 wide receiver, Davis has firmly cemented himself as his No. 2. Following Davis’ breakout performance in the playoffs last season, catching four touchdown passes during Buffalo’s heartbreaking playoff against the Chiefs, the expectations this year for the UCF alum are incredibly high this season.

NFL Network’s Adam Schein named Davis as one of his “guaranteed risers” for the 2022 NFL Season.

“No Cole Beasley? No Emmanuel Sanders? No problem. It is Gabriel Davis’ time to play Robin to Stefon Diggs’ Batman,” Schein wrote. “And shoot, sometimes the Boy Wonder will take the leading role. Remember the last time we saw these Bills in action? Davis posted a playoff-record four touchdown catches, finishing with eight total grabs for 201 yards in a narrow loss to the Chiefs. This guy’s the truth, with 18 touchdowns in 37 career games (including the playoffs). He’s a big-bodied deep threat with stellar hands. No wonder his quarterback loves him.”

Allen and Davis picked up right where they left while playing against the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 1. Davis played in 57 of 58 of the team’s offensive snaps, caught Allen’s first touchdown pass of the game, and finished the night with four receptions for 88 yards.

Hopefully, Davis will be able return to true form sooner than later. The Bills don’t have a by until Week 7.