The Buffalo Bills are set to get three key members of their secondary back in Week 6from injuries in top CB Stephon Gilmore, contract-disgruntled FS Jairus Byrd, and slot cornerback Ron Brooks. WGR 550′s Joe Buscaglia tweeted that Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone stated Gilmore, Byrd, and Brooks will return in Week 6, and the Bills were able to survive without them this week thanks to an early, season-ending injury to Brian Hoyer.
Their returns couldn’t have come at a better time, because the Cincinnati Bengals await the Bills in Week 6. A.J. Green is one heck of an animal at wide receiver, but Gilmore is a cornerback with shutdown ability. A wrist injury hindered him from making his big statement as a breakout second-year CB in this league, but he’ll be ready to make that statement now that he’s back. The Bills are rightfully high on what Gilmore can bring to the table this season, as he looked excellent in the offseason and is coming off of a really nice rookie year. That said, the Bengals elite wide receiver is also itching to make a statement of his own. He was shut down last week in a marquee matchup of elite players, as Cleveland Browns corner Joe Haden swallowed him up and choked the rest of the Bengals offense by doing so.
Shutting down Green is as tough of a task as there is in this league, so we’ll see if Gilmore is up to it. Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine could use Gilmore in the Darrelle Revis “island” role, and I mention this since Pettine was the New York Jets DC. Gilmore should, though, get some help from Jairus Byrd, who is as good of a cover safety as their is. He is finally returning from plantar fasciitis, and he was smart for not playing through the pain in a contract year. Ron Brooks will help solidify the slot against the Bengals, though his return is most important for depth purposes. The Bills banged up secondary is finally healthy again, and that’s excellent news indeed.
One last message: underestimate Stephon Gilmore at your own risk.