The Buffalo Bills are set to return from their bye with a disappointing 6-6 record, but reinforcements could be on the way. Head coach Sean McDermott said during his press conference on Wednesday that the team is opening the 21-day practice windows for both tight end Dawson Knox and cornerback Kaiir Elam.
Buffalo has been without Knox since Week 7, when he suffered a wrist injury during the team's loss to the division rival New England Patriots. Prior to the injury, Knox had caught just 15 of 28 passes thrown his way for a mere 102 yards and one touchdown. In his absence, rookie Dalton Kincaid has been the primary and often only tight end the Bills have used, and he has emerged as a solid target for Josh Allen.
Kincaid has 56 grabs on 64 targets this season, with 474 receiving yards and two scores. Since Knox went down, he has posted receiving lines of 5-65-1, 10-81-0, 5-51-1, 6-46-0, and 5-38-0 for a total of 31-281-2 across five games. The Bills were heavy on two-tight end sets with both Knox and Kincaid on the field earlier this season, but in recent weeks have leaned back into 11 personnel formations with three receivers alongside Kincaid. If, or how, that changes upon Knox's eventual return will be interesting to watch.
Elam has also been out since the New England game, which was only his third appearance of the season. Buffalo's injuries in the secondary pressed him into action for the prior two games against the Jaguars and Giants, but he disappointed in those contests and played only on special teams against the Pats. He was inactive against the Bucs the following week before going on IR. A first-round pick in 2022, Elam hasn't lived up to expectations and has been surpassed on the depth chart by several other cornerbacks, but the Bills need all the help they can get defensively at the moment.