Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: 6 players to watch in Week 16

Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports)
Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen, Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Emmanuel Sanders/Isaiah McKenzie

A big change this week will be the absence of Cole Beasley, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday and will miss this game. The slot receiver is a big part of this offense and the coaching staff must now find the right player to replace him.

Unfortunately, there isn’t probably one player that can do that and the team will look to a combination of Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie to replace Beasley this week. The big question is the health of Sanders, who missed last week’s game due to a knee injury. The good news is that he was able to practice in full on Thursday and barring a setback, he should be available this weekend.

However, the Bills could look to manage his workload and Isaiah McKenzie could see an increase in snaps. McKenzie started in place of Beasley in the regular-season finale last year and had a career game against the Miami Dolphins.

These are two players that are going to be key to their success through the air and will have chances to make big impacts in Week 16 against the Patriots.