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
Dion Dawkins, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

Can the Buffalo Bills offensive line hold up against the Patriots?

The big news for the Buffalo Bills on Saturday was that starting left tackle Dion Dawkins was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This is certainly tremendous news and the hope is that he can step in and play the entire game blocking Josh Allen’s blindside.

However, the reality is that Dawkins has been on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since last Friday and has not practiced at all this week. It remains to be seen if he is able to physically handle that type of workload against a Patriots defense that ranks 15th in the NFL in sacks with 33 but had two sacks and five QB hits in Week 13 on only 30 pass attempts by Josh Allen.

The Bills still have two offensive linemen on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Jon Feliciano and Cody Ford so the depth was going to be tested. If Dawkins is able to play the full game, this is great news for this line because it moves Spencer Brown back to right tackle, where he has played most of the year and slides Daryl Williams back inside to right guard.

These three players, along with Mitch Morse and Ike Boettger, is probably their best starting five. However, Bill Belichick is sure to test this group early to see just how effective they are at protecting Josh Allen.