LeSean McCoy’s hamstring is causing him trouble for the second straight year and the Buffalo Bills need to proceed with caution.
Bills fans all cringed when three days ago Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News reported that Rex Ryan said, “He just had that tight hamstring, so we’re just trying to be smart with him. He did do a little work but we’re keeping him out of the team drills.”
Last year in a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns, McCoy pulled the muscle and it affected him throughout training camp and into the season. He eventually had to miss some time from it. According to Mike Rodak of ESPN, last year McCoy said, “I’d rather come back 100 percent and be the player that everybody was expecting instead of out there on one leg.”
And Shady is exactly right. The Bills need McCoy at 100 percent. He is the type of running back who needs to be healthy in order to pull off some of the ridiculously agile moves he makes in the backfield and in open space.
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Last year, the Bills sat McCoy out of their games versus the New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans. Before those games, McCoy ran the ball 43 times for 146 yards with an average of 3.4 per carry. After sitting out, he ran for 749 yards on 160 carries for an average of 4.68 per carry.
His stats after sitting down were much better and that is the type of production the Bills will need to get out of McCoy this year.
Their medical staff is under the microscope by fans, whether deserved or not, and they cannot afford to mess this up. With the news of Sammy Watkins foot surgery and Shaq Lawson’s shoulder surgery, this team just can’t have any more players of that caliber dealing with injuries before the year starts.
The Bills should not push Shady. He is a veteran who doesn’t need training camp as much as the younger players who could use the reps. Let Shady come along at his own pace and make sure he is ready for when things start to matter in September.
If the Bills are serious about ending their 16-year playoff drought they are going to need all of their star players at 100 percent. Their staff needs to make sure every decision that they make between now and the start of the season regarding McCoy and Watkins is focused solely on these players being ready Week 1 versus the Baltimore Ravens.