FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – LeSean McCoy didn’t start against the New England Patriots on Sunday because of a disciplinary issue, the Buffalo Bills’ star running back said after the team’s 24-12 loss at Gillette Stadium.
“Coach, he just, we had a situation,” McCoy said. “He was totally right. I mean, it was a private situation. I'm a captain. I've got to be more accountable. Simple as that. He checked me, put me in my place. That was it.”
McCoy wasn’t out for long – he carried the ball for three yards on the second play of the game – but ended up with just nine rushing yards on six carries, his third-lowest single-game output this season and the lowest in a game he finished healthy. He added three catches for 10 yards.
Undrafted rookie running back Keith Ford started against the Patriots and finished with a team-high 33 yards on seven carries, an average of 4.7 yards per touch. Quarterback Josh Allen rushed for 30 yards on five carries, leaving McCoy a distant third.
McCoy, in the midst of the worst season of his career, bristled on Thursday when asked whether he anticipated ceding time to younger players, as the Bills use the final games of the regular season to get a look at the back end of their roster.
“Yo, this dude. … Am I the featured back? What am I, going to come off the bench?” McCoy said. “We'll see. I don't know. We'll see.”
McCoy wouldn’t divulge when his “situation” with coach Sean McDermott took place.
“I don't think that matters,” he said, acknowledging they were able to move past the issue. “We're straight.”
As for the lack of carries?
“It was what it was,” McCoy said. “You know, we have a young guy (who needs) to get some looks – it's like a learning type of thing. So I was cool with that.”
He said that wasn’t an unfamiliar role.
“A lot of times, I'll let him go in, like, ‘Yo, take the rep, take the series,’ ” McCoy said. “It's not a matter of that. I mean it's late in the year. The situation is what it is. I've been in a situation before like this, so I'm not sure what type of question you're trying to get or the answer you're trying to get.
“I understand the situation as far as where we're at, last game coming up. I understand that, so I'm not worried about that.”
McCoy has just 488 rushing yards and an average of 3.2 yards per carry this season, by far the worst of his 10-year career. His two rushing touchdowns match his lowest output since 2012.
The game marked the first time McCoy didn’t start when healthy since his second season in the NFL, when he carried the ball 21 times for 64 yards in the Eagles' 31-17 victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 17, 2010.
“It's been a tough season,” McCoy said. “It's been a real tough season, for sure one of the harder years for a long time. But it is what it is. I can't control that.”
McDermott, speaking at roughly the same time as McCoy, was not asked about the reason why the running back didn’t start against the Patriots, but addressed the Bills’ inability to run the ball.
“I just think, overall, I expected us to be able to run the ball more or better than we did today,” McDermott said.
McCoy is under contract for one more season, but the Bills can save $6.425 million against the salary cap by releasing him in the offseason.
Earlier this season, Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said McCoy factors into the team’s plans in 2019.
“I remember Beane saying earlier in the year that they've got plans for me, so we'll see,” McCoy said. “At the end of the day, I can't worry about that. The only thing I can worry about is who I am. I'm a good player. I love it here, and we'll see what happens, but I know who I am, so I'm not worried about that.”