Bills Urged to Sign Ex-Texans Pro Bowl RB Phillip Lindsay: Analyst

Phillip Lindsay

Getty Running back Phillip Lindsay #30 of the Houston Texans runs the ball during the first half in the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Buffalo Bills backfield has not performed well thus far this season, a frustrating development since this is far from a new problem.

During the Bills embarrassing 41-15 loss against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, running back Zack Moss had three carries for five yards, and Devin Singeltary had three carries for 17 yards. Veteran Matt Breida, who was recently elevated to the active roster, was the backfield’s only bright spot, with five carries for 51 yards.

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After the Houston Texans unceremoniously waived running back Phillip Lindsay on Tuesday, Buffalo Rumblings‘ Bruce Exclusive suggests the Bills make a move to sign him.

Lindsay, who went undrafted out of Colorado in 2018, started his career with the Denver Broncos. During his rookie year, he averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry, qualified for the Pro Bowl, and was listed in the Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie Team.

During his tenure in Denver, Lindsay tallied 2,550 rushing yards with consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns, 17 touchdowns, 534 carries, along with 465 receiving yards and one TD on 77 receptions in Denver.

With the Texans, the 27-year-old didn’t see that many opportunities but managed 50 carries in 10 games, averaging 2.6 yards per carry, and recording just four receiving passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. However, no running back on the Texans has averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry thus far this season.

While those stats won’t make Bills head coach Sean McDermott jump out of his seat to grab the 5-foot-8 running back, it’s a shot that Buffalo (6-4) should make, according to Bruce Nolan. What’s to lose?

Lindsay Has a Similar Play Style to That of Breida

Nolan wrote of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s flailing backfield, “that Breida is the only Bills running back who has more gap runs than zone runs in 2021, but his burst is obvious and his success in the zone rushing system in San Francisco (where during his career year in 2018, he ran a whopping 75% of his runs alongside zone concepts) has given Bills Mafia a very small sample size of success.”

As for Lindsay, he “was at his best in Denver when running zone. The same year Matt Breida was setting new personal bests in the Bay Area, Lindsay was averaging 5.4 yards per attempt, breaking 30 10+-yard runs, and scoring 9 touchdowns with essentially a 50/50 split between zone and gap. Breida and Lindsay have the decisiveness and burst necessary to capitalize on small windows, which may be all they’re going to get from the Bills offensive line in 2021.”

McDermott was Very Complimentary of Lindsay Last Year

Phillip Lindsay

GettyPhillip Lindsay #30 of the Houston Texans looks on during warm-up before the game against the Houston Texans at Hard Rock Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Before the Bills took on the Broncos last year, McDermott showered Lindsay with compliments. Back inn December 2020, McDermott said of Denver’s then-backfield duo of Lindsay and Melvin Gordon III, “They are one of the best combinations in the league, they really are,” McDermott said during a video conference call. “They are fast. They break tackles. So, we’ll have our hands full come Saturday.”

Maybe if Lindsay teams up with Breida, the Bills could very well have their own dynamic duo in the backfield.

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