Harrison Phillips is in good position to have a bounce back year after an ACL injury last season.
The Buffalo Bills drafted Harrison Phillips in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, the Bills had veterans Star Lotulelei and Kyle Williams atop of the depth chart and Phillips playing time was limited. He finished the year playing only 38% of the defensive snaps with 35 total tackles.
This past season, Phillips was expected to have a much bigger role and it appeared to be heading that way as Phillips snap count was increasing week over week. In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals had more snaps than the starter Star Lotulelei.
However, Phillips suffered a torn ACL that would cost him the remainder of the season. The good news is that the defensive tackle is recovered and has been practicing without limitations during training camp.
2020 Season Outlook for Harrison Phillips
The stars seem to be aligning for Harrison Phillips to have that breakout season in 2020 that he appeared poised to have last year. The Buffalo Bills found out prior to training camp that last year’s starter Star Lotulelei had opted out of the upcoming season.
There is no reason to think that Harrison Phillips can’t step in as the starter and probably provide more that what Lotulelei brought to this defense. One of the strengths of Lotulelei is his ability to take up space, clog running lanes and engage with offensive linemen that allows Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano and the rest of the defenders get to the ball carrier quickly.
The one thing that Phillips can bring to this defense, and he started to show glimpses last year, is that he does have a little more burst than Lotulelei. He can get into the backfield more frequently and does have three pressures over 19 games.
The Buffalo Bills are likely to still rotate their defensive tackles frequently but Harrison Phillips should be the team’s starter and play close to 50% of the snaps this year.
Prediction: 45 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks