Bills Consider Benching Veteran RB Following Key Error

Bills Face Tough Decisions Ahead of Season Finale.

by Nouman Rasool
Bills Consider Benching Veteran RB Following Key Error
© Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

As the Buffalo Bills gear up for a pivotal Week 18 showdown against the Miami Dolphins, the stakes couldn't be higher. With the division title and a No. 2 seed on the line, a victory assures them a playoff berth, while a defeat could spell the end of their season.

Amid this high-pressure scenario, team insiders are hinting at a significant shift in the offensive lineup before their January 6 clash, particularly focusing on veteran running back Latavius Murray. Murray, who has recently been underperforming, faced criticism for a crucial mistake in the Bills' December 31 victory over the New England Patriots.

His diminishing role has led to discussions about benching him, potentially in favor of an experienced player from the practice squad.

Murray's Critical Missteps

Murray's struggles were evident in the last game where he failed to convert a critical 3rd-and-1 situation.

Additionally, his mishandling of a third-down pass only compounded the concerns. WGR 550 reporter Joe DiBiase suggested that the Bills might replicate their previous decision of benching veteran edge rusher Von Miller by sidelining Murray for the crucial season finale.

"Next veteran to be a healthy inactive should be Latavius Murray," DiBiase noted. Echoing this sentiment, Bills reporter Bradley Gelber questioned Murray's continued active status given his recent form. The Bills had signed Murray alongside Damien Harris last offseason, aiming to revitalize their ground game.

While initially playing a key role, particularly in short-yardage situations and balancing James Cook's speed, Murray's influence has noticeably waned, evident in his reduced carries and snap count. As CBS Sports highlighted, the Bills have increasingly relied on James Cook, with Murray's contributions diminishing to minor roles.

The report also speculated the possibility of the Bills turning to practice squad back Leonard Fournette to assume Murray's duties. Fournette, who joined the Bills' practice squad in late October and has been active only once, could be a viable replacement.

He has expressed readiness and a positive attitude about his role, despite its challenges. His performance in the December 23 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, where he rushed for 20 yards on five carries, demonstrated his potential as a valuable asset to the team.

With the crucial game ahead, the Bills are at a crossroads. Incorporating Fournette over Murray could be a game-changing decision, injecting fresh energy into the team's offensive strategy. As the Bills face this critical juncture, their choice in the backfield could very well be a defining factor in their quest for playoff glory.