The Buffalo Bills have one of the best defenses in the entire NFL and a new defensive-minded head coach to go with it. At the same time, however, they have legitimate concerns on the offensive side of the football, with Tyrod Taylor making his first career start at quarterback. Earlier this offseason, the Bills traded for one of the best running backs in football, LeSean McCoy, and he is expected to receive a huge workload this year.
McCoy, however, has been dealing with an injured hamstring since mid-August, and that has led to concern regarding his status for this Sunday's season-opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Considering how important he is to the team's offense, it's very notable news - but Bills head coach Rex Ryan expects McCoy to be ready to go this Sunday.
"I think he's gonna be ready to roll," Ryan said today, according to ESPN's Mike Rodak. "We'll see how he progresses during the week. But he's practicing in full. So he'll be ready."
"It's not ideal, but this dude can play," Ryan added. "I've seen it on the practice field. I'm not concerned, recognizing that we haven't necessarily seen as much work at all of the skill positions."
McCoy was acquired in a trade from the Eagles this offseason. In six seasons in Philly, McCoy rushed for 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also caught 384 passes for 2,282 yards and 10 touchdowns, making him a tough all-around back to defend. McCoy has played against the Colts twice in his career, rushing for 174 yards and a touchdown while averaging 5 yards per carry and catching 7 passes for 31 yards. Last year, McCoy and the Eagles visited Lucas Oil Stadium, with McCoy rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (4.2 yards per attempt) and catching four passes for 23 yards.
The Colts enter the season with plenty of people skeptical about their run defense after seeing them destroyed yet again on the ground by the Patriots twice last year, and now they have a very inexperienced defensive line to go with that. Have the Colts done enough to improve their run defense? We don't know right now, but facing LeSean McCoy on Sunday would provide a big test.