NFL notes: LeSean McCoy’s ankle is better but his status for Bills’ playoff game is uncertain
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy says he’s making progress with his right ankle injury but his status is uncertain for Sunday’s AFC wild-card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
McCoy spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since suffering the injury in Sunday’s 22-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. He has yet to practice this week, but did participate in stretches Thursday before leaving the field with a trainer.
“I’m definitely happy with how things are working out so far, but there is a lot more room for improvement, especially with where I want to be,” McCoy said. “I know my body, I know myself, especially the way I play is more cutting and running.
“It’s been feeling a lot better. I’m out of the boot and I can walk around without any pain. So that’s a plus.”
McCoy has been Buffalo’s most explosive and most consistent playmaker, finishing the year with 1,138 rushing yards and six touchdowns. His absence would leave a hole in Buffalo’s offensive attack; the Bills finished the regular season with the 31st-ranked passing attack in the league.
“I just want to be able to cut well enough where I don’t have a lot of pain when I’m cutting,” McCoy said. “I just want to be close or the best as far as 100 percent as I can get. But the type of game like this, you’ve got to lay it all on the line. If I can’t get 100 percent, as long as I’m out there and I can run effective enough I’ll do it. So we’ll just see.”
McCoy was quick to mention previous times when he tried to play through injuries in Buffalo and had limited success. McCoy has attempted to play through hamstring injuries in each of the past two seasons. Each time, his production significantly dropped.
“I don’t want to make any promises,” McCoy said.
The Bills have no established running back behind McCoy on the depth chart. Marcus Murphy was promoted from the practice squad ahead of the Week 17 win over the Dolphins, rushing for 41 yards on seven carries. Buffalo also has veteran fullback Mike Tolbert. “I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said of McCoy. “Will we be able to get there in time? We’ll see.”
Tennessee running back DeMarco Murray will miss his second consecutive game with the Titans ruling him out against the Kansas City Chiefs in their AFC wild-card game Saturday. Coach Mike Mularkey had refused to rule the veteran running back out until Thursday. Murray hurt his right knee late in a loss Dec. 24 to the Los Angeles Rams and has not practiced since then. … Leonard Fournette’s thousand-yard season is costing him thousands. Maybe even tens of thousands. The Jacksonville Jaguars running back bought seven offensive linemen — five starters and two backups — Rolex watches. Fournette ran 268 times for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie. He also had 36 receptions for 302 yards and a score. …
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley says the team told him an incident at a restaurant last weekend near Heinz Field is a “non-issue.” Haley’s wife Christine was involved in what Pittsburgh police described as a minor altercation at Tequila Cowboy a few hours after the Steelers wrapped up the regular season with a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Haley himself was not involved in the incident, though he did sustain a minor injury at some point during the night. … The New York Giants’ coaching search was delayed by a winter storm that dumped nearly a 1 1/2 feet of snow on some New Jersey shore towns. The Giants had scheduled an interview Thursday with Eric Studesville, the recently fired Broncos’ running backs coach who had been in Denver since 2010 and was the interim head coach after Josh McDaniels’ firing that year. Studesville now will be interviewed next week.
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