Last week LeSean McCoy practiced sparingly leading up to last week's game at Miami and played, but exited early with hamstring tightness. This week he didn't practice at all and he's listed as doubtful for Sunday's pivotal divisional game against the Patriots.
"It's doubtful he plays," said head coach Rex Ryan. "Obviously he never practiced so you can figure that out."
Ryan did admit with a listing of doubtful they're not as confident McCoy will be able to play as they were last week when he was questionable.
"It's the same as last week, just the medical they haven't given us the thumbs up on him being able to play yet," he said.
McCoy had been on a league MVP type pace as the chief playmaker in Buffalo's offense through the first six games before a hamstring injury cropped up in practice last week. He represents 56 percent of the team's rushing yards this season and 30 percent of their total net yards on offense. Sunday's game will be the first one he misses this season.
Set to step in at running back if McCoy is inactive for Sunday is Mike Gillislee, who would make his second career start for the Buffalo's second-ranked rushing attack. His first came in Week 16 last season when McCoy missed the last two games of the year with a knee injury. Gillislee is listed as questionable with a foot injury, but is expected to be fine for the game after practicing all week, albeit on a limited basis.
"I think he'll be ready," Ryan said. "I think he'll be good. Reggie Bush and (Jonathan) Williams will back him up if Shady can't play. We'll play them all."
Gillislee might not be a household name, but he's a player that New England head coach Bill Belichick respects.
"Some of his time has been limited because of McCoy, who has had such an explosive season, but when he's had a chance to play he's done a good job. He had a big run against San Francisco, like a 35-yard touchdown," Belichick said. "A strong, downhill runner, one cut guy, that's hard to tackle. Good complementary player to McCoy. They've got good depth, and I'm sure we'll see Jonathan Williams too."
An injury to a starter never comes at a good time, but McCoy's doubtful status is particularly bad timing for a Bills offense that has already played five games without Sammy Watkins, who was placed on injured reserve in Week 4. The offense will also be without WR Marquise Goodwin who was declared out with a concussion.
Robert Woods, who missed last week's game with a foot injury, is listed as questionable after practicing Thursday and Friday. He's expected to give things a try on Sunday, but how long his foot will hold up if he plays is hard to predict.
Aaron Williams outStarting safety Aaron Williams is also out with a neck injury suffered when Miami WR Jarvis Landry launched his body into Williams chin on a running play last week, which knocked the safety out of the game.
Williams was taken to a Miami area hospital for a CT scan and MRI before traveling home with the team.