The Bills are reconfiguring their defensive line ahead of Monday night’s showdown against the Chiefs.
Defensive end Trent Murphy and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips are expected to be healthy scratches, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. The shake-up comes one week after a dispiriting loss to the Titans that saw Buffalo fail to sack Ryan Tannehill once and manage just two tackles for loss.
Per the Bills’ depth chart, rookie A.J. Epenesa and former first-round pick Vernon Butler are listed behind Murphy and Phillips, respectively. The team announced Monday it is elevating defensive end Bryan Cox and defensive tackle Justin Zimmer for Week 6.
Their task will be a tall one.
One year after boasting one of the league’s best defenses, Buffalo has taken a notable step back in 2020. Its pass rush and run defense have been particularly ineffective, as the unit is averaging just 2.0 sacks per game and was ranked No. 22 against the run by DVOA entering Week 6.
Those issues start up front.
Here’s other news, injuries and transactions we’re tracking on Monday:
- The Dallas Cowboys added linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to their active roster, putting him in line to play Monday against the Cardinals. Vander Esch has missed the past four games after breaking his collarbone. The Cowboys also placed quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) and defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee) on injured reserve. They signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton from their practice squad and elevated safety Steven Parker and center Marcus Henry.
- Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is seeking a second opinion on his high-ankle injury but he’s expected to miss a few weeks, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported. Ertz went down in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. Running back Miles Sanders, who suffered a knee injury in the Week 6 loss, will miss Thursday’s game against the Cowboys, Garafolo reported. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson and guard Jack Driscoll also won’t play, per Garafolo.
- Washington offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles suffered a dislocated kneecap Sunday on his second NFL snap, Pelissero reported. That will keep him out for Week 7’s game versus the Cowboys but the early hope is he’ll return following the ensuing bye week, Pelissero added.
- Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule said he’s still unsure how soon Christian McCaffrey will return. The All-Pro has missed the past four games with a high-ankle sprain.
- The Raiders are placing cornerback Damon Arnette on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Pelissero reported, per a source. The rookie was already on injured reserve after undergoing thumb surgery. No other Las Vegas players or personnel tested positive, Pelissero added.
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