Hughes finished the season with 28 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble.
Hughes was expected to thrive in new coach Sean McDermott's defense, but even though he was healthy and played a full 16-game slate for the sixth straight season, the big numbers never happened. The four sacks is the lowest he's had in five seasons with the Bills, while the same goes for the tackle total. He's still under contract with the team and didn't seem to end up in McDermott's doghouse at any point, so with the Bills lacking in pass rushers it would seem they'll bring Hughes back and hope he can perform better with a firmer grasp of the defense. Hughes' athleticism isn't the problem -- on the rare big plays he did make he looked as fast and strong as ever.
Hughes logged five tackles during Sunday's win over his former team, the Colts.
Hughes played 48 of 71 defensive snaps, which has become roughly the norm as the Bills take him off the field in certain run situations. The five-tackle game represents Hughes' season high, and while his 37 tackles over 13 games is decent for a defensive end, the 3.0 sacks is disappointing for a guy who many assumed would make a run at double digits.
Hughes avoided missing his first game since the 2011 season, and he'll slot back into his top defensive end role. However, Philip Rivers has been a tough man to sack this season, ranking third in the league in sack percentage (3.29 percent). Hughes hasn't had a sack in five weeks either, making him an unfavorable IDP option in Week 11.
The Bills seem to be leaning toward Hughes playing, though the team's inability to get to the quarterback lately -- just one sack over the last three games -- and the late-afternoon start might have you looking elsewhere for a Week 11 IDP option.
Hughes, who left Sunday's game with a shin injury, practiced on a limited basis Thursday after missing Wednesday's practice, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports. "He did good. He moved well, better than I originally thought going into practice, so it's a good sign," coach Sean McDermott said.
It sounds like the Bills might have their best pass rusher on hand this week against the Chargers, something they'll need after being completely stomped the last two games.
|3||9/23/18||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|6||10/14/18||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|13||12/2/18||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|