On the day after the Buffalo Bills released wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes, coach Sean McDermott declined to go into specifics, but said, “Obviously, it didn’t work.”
"Let me start by saying [that] I appreciate, just like I do every player, what they did," McDermott said Wednesday. "It obviously didn’t work, and those are hard decisions to make because those are human decisions. The important thing for us is that we continue to take swings, and that’s what we did; we stepped up to the plate and you take a swing. Some of those are going to work and some of those aren’t. The only way you can get a hit is if you take a swing. The important thing, just as important for us I believe, is when things are no longer right for us as a football team and where we are and the vision we’re trying to chase, that we move forward. That’s what we did.
"We wish Kelvin and Andre both the best and their families. We’re going to continue to make every decision that we feel is right in the best interest of this football team."
Benjamin has been a disappointment since his acquisition by the Bills in the middle of last season from the Carolina Panthers. He caught 16 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown in six games last season and had 23 receptions for 354 yards and one touchdown this season.
McDermott said the move allows the team’s young wide receivers an opportunity to see where they fit in heading toward the offseason.
"That’s a part of it as well," he said "We have young receivers that have stepped up in the past couple of weeks and showed some signs of their potential and flashed, probably better said. Our commitment to them is to give them better opportunities. To see them build a relationship with Josh [Allen], to see them develop, that’s important as we move forward. [It’s important] that we understand that we close out this season one game at a time, wherever that takes us, that we understand what our young players are, who they are, can they develop? Are they important pieces for us as we move forward in our organization?
The Bills also announced that rookie defensive back Taron Johnson will be out indefinitely after having shoulder surgery Wednesday morning. Johnson has been playing despite the injury.
“He’s been working through it,” McDermott said. “We appreciate that. He’s had a number of reps … He had a good first season. We thought it was important for him to get that thing taken care of to have a productive offseason.”
Tight end Jason Croom will not practice with a groin injured. Quarterback Derek Anderson (concussion protocol) and guard John Miller (oblique) are listed as limited.