The Buffalo Bills started out the week on a bad note when it was reported by Tom Pelissero that Bills running back Nyheim Hines, who was acquired at the trade deadline last season, has reportedly torn his ACL due to an accident that involved a jet ski crashing into Hines. All signs are now pointing to Hines officially not suiting up this year for the Bills as he begins to recover from this injury. This is not the kind of news that Bills fans were expecting here with training camp starting this week.
With Hines out now, this may open the door for free agent signing Deonte Harty to return kicks on special teams for the Bills this season. Harty, who was signed by the Bills from the New Orleans Saints this offseason has a quick speed and can be a burner if he gets in the open field. While he has struggled to stay on the field due to injury, Harty should be able to easily step in and take the special teams reps to help set up the offense with good field position.
Does this improve Latavius Murray's chances of making the Buffalo Bills 53-man roster?
However, with the injury to Hines, one player who may have just been a training camp player to bring competition to the young guys may all of a sudden make the final 53-man roster for Week 1. When running back Latavius Murray was signed by the Bills this past offseason, he was added to a running back group with James Cook and Damien Harris, along with Hines.
While there may not be a true running back competition in camp, there would still be a potential battle at who the Bills would bring along with the running back position for the regular season. Up until now, Murray arguably may have not avoided the cut list because of how crowded the room was.
Hines was more than likely going to be used in a more pass-catching type of style to give quarterback Josh Allen the dump out weapon to the outside if no one down the field was open. It now may look as if Cook will take on that role, on top of trying to establish himself as the future back for Buffalo going into his second season.
With the signing of Harris, he is a back who can go into contact and push to pick up the extra yardage, while still being able to run outside the tackles. Murray can do the exact same thing as Harris, but he is a bigger back than Harris which could be beneficial for the Bills when they are trying to punch in the ball to the end zone.
If the Bills decide to make Cook their featured back in the passing game, they will need another running back or two who can go into contact and pick up the extra two-three yards to move the chains. That is where Harris and now Murray come into the mix.
Murray may potentially serve as insurance to the Bills running back group, if another injury were to occur.