Marquez Stevenson returns to practice for the Bills, could play Thursday

Marquez Stevenson, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Marquez Stevenson, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

There has been plenty discussed this week about which players could return for the Buffalo Bills with players like Jon Feliciano potentially coming off injured reserve, Tremaine Edmunds returning to practice after missing the past two games, and with Star Lotulelei and Spencer Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19.

However, one name that hasn’t been discussed too much is rookie Marquez Stevenson. The speedy wide receiver was a sixth round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Houston.

He was unlikely to contribute on offense but seemed to factor into the competition to win the return job and replace Andre Roberts. However, Stevenson suffered an injury during the preseason and was placed on injured reserve to start the year.

Marquez Stevenson could return for the Buffalo Bills in Week 12

On Tuesday, head coach Sean McDermott told the media that the rookie would be returning today for practice. According to Joe Buscaglia, when the Bills’ head coach was asked about him potentially playing on Thursday, he said “everything is on the table.”

The return comes at an interesting time as Isaiah McKenzie has struggled as a returner, particularly holding onto the football with a few fumbles this season. He had a pivotal one last week against the Indianapolis Colts late in the first half that allowed the Colts to go up 24-7.

In the preseason, Stevenson looked good and probably would have pushed McKenzie had he stayed healthy. He had five kick returns for an average of 25 yards and three punt returns for an average of 34.7 with a punt return for a touchdown.

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It is hard to imagine Stevenson could be active Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints with only two practices. However, if he is active and even sees some snaps, it would speak to the coaching staff’s confidence level in the speedy wide receiver.