The Buffalo Bills have seen numbers worn as early as 1960. For our next number, it wasn’t seen until the second half of the 1970s.
Sam Wyche was the first player to wear the number 13 in 1976. Although it was not for long, He only played with the Bills for 1 season, he also wore the number 14 during his time in Buffalo. Wyche did make a return to the All-American City in 2004 and was the Quarterbacks Coach for 2 seasons.
The number 13 was not seen again until the players strike in 1987. Brian McClure was drafted by the Bills in 1986. He was released and re-signed when the players strike began. He came in for 1 game against the Giants and had two late game drives, one being in OT to beat the Giants; the Bills came away with 2 FGs off of the drives. One to tie and one to win. For his one game played, He had 20 completions on 38 attempts and 181 yards. For players only playing one game, McClure is in the record books for his performance.
Number 13 seemed to be unofficially retired because we did not seen anyone wear the number until 2008 when the Bills drafted Steve Johnson in the 7th round (#224). Johnson was able to put together 3 1,000 yards seasons for the Bills from 2010-2012. In those three seasons he was able to play all 16 games. This past year he was only in 12 games and came away with just under 600 yards on 52 receptions. A slowed production year could be the direct result of a rookie QB who seemed to have a better relationship on the field with rookie WR Robert Woods. It also didn’t help and could have been that Johnson had to work with quarterbacks that only had 1 professional start between the three of them coming into the season. With another year under EJ Manuel‘s belt, and more time to work with the receiving corps Johnson and company could have a much better year than last.