LeSean McCoy has eluded media members much better in the last week than he has defenders.
The Buffalo Bills’ running back was a no-show on the field and in the losing locker room after his team’s 41-9 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at New Era Field.
McCoy gained just 10 yards on 10 carries in the loss. Over the last three weeks, McCoy has run 24 times … for 24 yards. He suffered a concussion after gaining just 1 yard on two plays against the Colts in Week 7, then returned the following week to rush 12 times for 13 yards against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
The Bills did not move McCoy by last week’s trade deadline, and General Manager Brandon Beane committed to him being on the roster in 2019 during an interview with The Buffalo News. McCoy has not spoken since that Monday loss to the Patriots, when he was as down as he has been during his four seasons in Buffalo.
He risks an NFL fine for failing to meet his media obligations, although that’s a secondary concern for the team at the moment.
McCoy barely played in the fourth quarter, until backup Chris Ivory suffered a shoulder injury. He checked in for one carry, but was stopped for no gain at the Bears’ 1-yard line. McCoy got just three carries after halftime, but coach Sean McDermott denied that he was benched.
“Just looking at what they were doing schematically a little bit there on their side of the ball and taking a look at Marcus Murphy and Chris,” the coach said.
Ivory ended up being carted off the field, and was later taken to Erie County Medical Center for evaluation, according to a report from NFL Network.
The Bills’ three running backs combined to go for 52 yards on 18 carries.
“We’ve got to make sure we establish the line of scrimmage,” McDermott said. “That’s true in every game. We set that as one of our goals, establish the line of scrimmage, and we didn’t get that done, in particular, early today.”
The Bills’ rushing attack ranks 23rd in the NFL pending the outcome of the late games in Week 9.
In an attempt to find something along the offensive line, the Bills rotated in Jeremiah Sirles at right tackle and Wyatt Teller at left guard in the first half. They replaced starters Jordan Mills and Vlad Ducasse, respectively.
“We gave a couple guys a chance in there to show us what they can do,” McDermott said. “We’ll look at the film on that.”
2. The team didn’t wait long to get Terrelle Pryor in the lineup. The receiver started the game in a three-wide set. He signed with the team Tuesday, but impressed coaches during the practice week with his ability to pick up the offense.
It’s not a huge surprise the Bills rushed Pryor into the lineup, given their lack of production this season at receiver. To make room on the game-day roster, rookie Cam Phillips was a healthy inactive.
Pryor didn’t have much of an impact in his debut. His first touch came out of a Wildcat formation, and he lost a yard on the carry. On the next play, he couldn’t catch an accurate ball, which bounced into the hands of Adrian Amos for an interception. Pryor finished the game with two catches for 17 yards, both of which came in garbage time.
“This is my fourth or fifth day in this offense, and I’m going to keep continuing to preach confidence because, what else do you got? I’m a confident person,” he said. “I have to make sure I have that grab. We can’t fumble the ball. We have to make more plays.”
3. The Bills caught a break when former University at Buffalo star Khalil Mack was ruled inactive by the Bears. Mack missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury. With the Bears set to play three straight division games after Sunday, perhaps they figured they could get away with resting Mack. That now looks like a pretty good call.
Mack has 20 tackles, five sacks, two passes defensed, one interception and four forced fumbles in five games with Chicago since coming over in a trade with Oakland shortly before the start of the regular season.
4. Tight end Charles Clay suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Croom and Logan Thomas, who had seven catches for 40 yards. That’s a season high for catches by any Bill.
5. A pregame report from ESPN said the Rams placed a call to the Bills inquiring about the availability of defensive end Jerry Hughes prior to the trade deadline.
“Now we’re just focused on winning football games,” Hughes said. “I can’t speak about stuff I can’t control. I can only focus on what I can do, and I’ve got to do a better job of forcing some turnovers to help our offense out."
6. Julian Stanford got the start in place of rookie middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who missed the game because of a concussion. Stanford made a big play on the Bears’ first drive, sacking quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and forcing a fumble that was eventually recovered by Chicago. That pushed the Bears out of field-goal range.
“I definitely felt comfortable,” Stanford said. “The defense as a whole, we tried to execute to the best of our ability. We didn’t get it done, because we didn’t win the game.”
Stanford led the Bills with eight tackles and had the only sack of Trubisky.
7. Colton Schmidt's return did not go so well. He averaged just 28.0 net yards on five punts, including an ugly 17-yarder in the second half. Schmidt returned to the roster last week after the Bills put rookie punter Corey Bojorquez on injured reserve.
8. In addition to Phillips and Edmunds, the Bills’ other inactives Sunday were: quarterback Josh Allen (elbow), quarterback Derek Anderson (concussion), defensive end Trent Murphy (knee), guard Ike Boettger and offensive tackle Conor McDermott.
9. There were 10 kickoffs Sunday. Every one of them went for a touchback. That play is an endangered species in today's NFL.
Story topics: Brandon Beane/ Charles Clay/ Chris Ivory/ Colton Schmidt/ Conor McDermott/ Corey Bojorquez/ Derek Anderson/ Ike Boettger/ Jason Croom/ Jeremiah Sirles/ Jerry Hughes/ Jordan Mills/ Josh Allen/ Khalil Mack/ LeSean McCoy/ Logan Thomas/ Nathan Peterman/ Terrelle Pryor/ Tremaine Edmunds/ Trent Murphy/ Vlad Ducasse/ Zay Jones