6 storylines for the Buffalo Bills in Week 16 against the Patriots

Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 6
Buffalo Bills
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Absence of Cole Beasley

On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills announced that wide receiver Cole Beasley was added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list and under the league protocols would miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots. This is a big absence for an offense that uses the slot receiver as much as Buffalo does.

The question now is how they will address his absence and who will replace him. The most likely candidate would be Emmanuel Sanders, who prior to joining Buffalo has experience playing wide receiver inside. However, he is dealing with a knee injury and his availability is still uncertain at this point although he did practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday.

Another option will be Isaiah McKenzie, who hasn’t been involved as much in the offense this year but did start in Week 17 last year. He had an excellent game as the starter with six receptions, 65 yards, and two receiving touchdowns.

If Sanders is able to play, then he will likely get the start but McKenzie should have a bigger role this week regardless.