Mike Gillislee Making Most of Opportunity in Buffalo


The Buffalo Bills added Mike Gillislee to the practice squad on November 4th, a relatively quiet move that not many people noticed. On December 5th, Gillislee got his chance when he was added to the Bills’ active roster thanks to injuries to LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams. Since being promoted, he has seen the ball in each of the last four games, making the most of his opportunities.

At the start of the season, many fans could have guessed that the Bills would have a good running offense, with Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy as well as a commitment to running the ball. When McCoy was sidelined at the beginning of the season, it was the play of rookie Karlos Williams that surprised everyone. Williams was a pleasant surprise that kept the ground game going without McCoy. However; since Williams was injured it has now been the play of Mike Gillislee surprising everyone.

Mike Gillislee, the former University of Florida star, has had a tough time staying on a roster in the NFL. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, but was released in September of this year. Gillislee only played in three games for the Dolphins his rookie year, and zero in 2014 due to injuries, according to NFL.com. He was signed to the Arizona Cardinals practice squad at the end of September, but never made the active roster.

After being released by Arizona, he found his way to the Buffalo practice squad, before finally making the active roster. Since, then he has not looked back, showing his speed and explosiveness nearly every game. Gillislee is averaging a gaudy 10.4 yards per carry, which is inflated by his big plays, but he is making big plays every game. The speedster has scored three times, and done well catching the ball out of the backfield. His speed was on full display on this 50 yard run against Dallas.

It will be hard for Gillislee to find a spot on the roster next year. Buffalo will start the year with McCoy, WIlliams, and Boobie Dixon at running back. Though Dixon has been quiet on offense, he brings a lot to the special teams units. With LeSean McCoy likely out for the week 17 match up against the Jets, Gilleslee will get yet another opportunity to show he deserves a spot on this roster come next year. He will likely split time with Karlos Williams fairly evenly, so far Gillislee has made the most of his touches, let’s see if it continues this Sunday.