By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Bills will be without top cornerback Stephon Gilmore for 6-8 weeks because of a broken wrist.
Coach Doug Marrone delivered that sobering news following practice today. Gilmore, 22, was hurt during the Bills' 30-7 loss to the Washington Redskins on Saturday.
"We felt really good about him and he's put a lot of work in to try to be the best player at his position. I give him a lot of credit for that," coach Doug Marrone said. "He's really had an outstanding camp and has really played extremely well for us. It’s unfortunate the amount of work that he’s put in, but to be in a situation now where he’s not going to be able to participate for a period of time.
"Whenever you lose a player like that -- we consider a very good player -- someone has to step up and play that position."
The Bills are thin at cornerback. Leodis McKelvin, the presumed starter opposite Gilmore, has been limited much of the summer as he returns from offseason groin surgery.
With McKelvin out, the Bills have tried Ron Brooks, Nickell Robey, T.J. Heath, Crezdon Butler, Justin Rogers and even the since-released Don Unamba as a starter.
Gilmore started all 16 games as a rookie, making 61 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception and 16 passes defensed. Marrone was asked whether his absence will change the Bills' philosophy on defense.
"We're going to evaluate to see where we are with that, to see what the ability of those players that we have out there are in these next couple days," Marrone said. "But then I think you have to look really hard at matchups, really. Do we feel good about these matchups and how do we want to match up defensively on teams’ receiving ability? So if you don’t feel comfortable in a matchup, obviously you can cloud him, put someone behind him, because at the end of the day if you’re just having single coverage man to man they can get to you. So it’s probably more schematic about how you want to go about it, which puts a little bit more planning on our part but that’s what we do. Our job is to put our players in the best position."
taggedCrezdon Butler | Doug Marrone | Justin Rogers | Leodis McKelvin | Nickell Robey | Stephon Gilmore