Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: 4 pregame thoughts for Week 16

Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Which wide receiver steps up for the Buffalo Bills?

The depth at the wide receiver position is going to be tested this week with both Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, who has been playing very well recently, out after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week. The good news is that Emmanuel Sanders is expected to return after missing last week’s game due to a knee injury.

While Emmanuel Sanders being back is a big help, they are going to need more from the veteran if they hope to beat a good Patriots secondary. Sanders started the year averaging 68.3 yards per game over the first six games. However, since the bye he is only averaging 27.4 yards per game and in the past six games, he has not had more than three receptions or 28 receiving yards in a single game.

Another player who could make a serious impact this week is Isaiah McKenzie, who is likely to get the start in place of Cole Beasley. He has seen his role diminish in this offense this year but when given the chance to start has made a big impact, like the regular-season finale last year with 65 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

While these are the two likely candidates to step in, the Bills could also look at players like Jake Kumerow or even Isaiah Hodgins, who they called up from the practice squad Saturday. The good news is that the Buffalo Bills do have options but the big question is who, if any, steps up to challenge this defense to free up some of the pressure on Stefon Diggs?