The Buffalo Bills are set to play their first playoff game of the season and will do so without one of their starting wide receivers. On Friday, the team ruled out wide receiver Gabe Davis after he suffered a knee injury last week against the Miami Dolphins.
It has been an up-and-down season for the fourth-year wide receiver as he has had only 746 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns but nearly half of the receiving yards (335) and touchdowns (3) only came in three games. In the last two games of the regular season, Davis had only two receptions on five targets for 21 yards.
However, his impact on the offense goes beyond his stat line as Gabe Davis rarely comes off the field and has played 966 offensive snaps, which is 83% of the offensive snaps. He would finish the season playing the most snaps at wide receiver for the Bills, even more than Stefon Diggs.
One of the reasons he rarely comes off the field is that he affects the offense in other ways as he is one of the better run-blocking wide receivers the team has. This will be a big loss for the offense in a game that might be heavily reliant on the run in a tough weather game.
Buffalo Bills are going to have to shuffle their depth chart for Sunday
The most likely replacement will be Trent Sherfield, who has seen an increase in snaps in the later parts of the season. However, Sherfield has been coming onto the field in place of Stefon Diggs. If Sherfield does get the start, then it might require more snaps from Diggs on Sunday.
The Bills could also move Khalil Shakir outside more in this game but he has been doing a pretty good job in the slot. It would make sense for the coaching staff to want to limit as many changes as possible.
Regardless of the answer, the Buffalo Bills almost certainly will be calling up a wide receiver from their practice squad. They currently have three and the best being Andy Isabella but he is not an outside wide receiver and is more of a slot receiver.
Tyrell Shavers and Bryan Thompson are the other wide receivers and are more outside receivers. Shavers is a big wide receiver at 6'4" and 211 pounds that could be effective in run blocking but both wide receivers are inexperienced and it would be a big spot for either.