Khalil Shakir/Isaiah McKenzie
The final two players that are likely impacted by the addition of Nyheim Hines are wide receivers Khalil Shakir and Isaiah McKenzie. In addition to what Hines brings to the offense, he is also an experienced punt returner with 73 career punt returns.
The Bills began the year with Jamison Crowder as their punt returner but a broken ankle forced the team to turn to rookie Khalil Shakir. While he has done a good job to this point, as the weather turns later in the year it becomes more of a challenge returning punts in Highmark Stadium. By having a veteran like Hines back there, it should be a boost for this group.
If Shakir is no longer returning punts, this creates a bit of a domino effect because general manager Brandon Beane noted that if Shakir is not returning punts it gives him a chance to focus on wide receiver more. This could indicate an expanded role in this offense and the logical spot would be at slot receiver and if that is the case it could result in fewer snaps for Isaiah McKenzie.
On top of this potential domino effect, Hines also has the ability to play in the slot or out wide and for his career has lined up in those two spots over 25% of his career snaps.
In one trade, general manager Brandon Beane added versatility on offense and experience returning punts. It was a great move but it also likely means players will see their roles change from what it was to begin the season.