The New England Patriots are facing some major questions at the wide receiver position heading into their Week 16 matchup with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills, however, are in a similar situation: starting slot receiver Cole Beasley will miss the game in New England after being placed on the Covid-19 reserve list on Tuesday.
A vocal opponent of getting vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Beasley will miss at least 10 days following a positive test. He is therefore definitely out against the Patriots, and is also not guaranteed to return versus the Atlanta Falcons a week later.
Losing the 32-year-old for any period of time is definitely a blow for Buffalo’s offense. Beasley, after all, is ranked second on the team with 76 catches and 640 receiving yards in 14 games; he also has caught a touchdown.
With fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders already dealing with a knee injury, the Bills might be down to of their starters against New England. In turn, rotational players such as Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie might see increased playing time on Sunday.
Beasley has now become the seventh Bills player to be sent to the Covid-19 reserve list recently, and the fourth in the last two days. Offensive linemen Dion Dawkins and Jon Feliciano, as well as linebacker Tyrel Dodson were all out for last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers. Defensive linemen A.J. Epenesa and Mike Love joined them on the Coronavirus list on Monday alongside offensive tackle Bobby Hart.
The Patriots, for comparison, have six players listed. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and linebackers Harvey Langi, Ronnie Perkins and Cameron McGrone were added on Monday following positive tests. Running back J.J. Taylor has remained on the list since Nov. 29, with offensive lineman Yasir Durant joining him last week.
New England removed tight end Dalton Keene on Tuesday. The second-year man has reverted back to season-ending injured reserve.
The Patriots will host the Bills next Sunday for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.