Bills' McCoy won't rule himself out after missing practice

In this Aug. 26, 2018, file photo, Buffalo Bills running back Keith Ford (35) rushes past Cincinnati Bengals' Brandon Wilson (40) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills have promoted Ford from their practice squad to provide insurance with starter LeSean McCoy and backup Chris Ivory nursing injuries. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Don’t count out LeSean McCoy just yet.

Though the Bills running back missed practice Wednesday to nurse a sore left hamstring, McCoy told The Associated Press there’s a chance he’ll play in Buffalo’s home game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

“I want to try to get in a couple of good games before it’s over,” McCoy said, before leaving the locker room.

McCoy winked as he said that in a clear reference acknowledging he’s running out of time to make any semblance of an impact in what could become the worst season in his 10-year career.

He’s topped 100 yards rushing just once, scored twice and managed just 479 yards rushing. That’s 258 yards shy of his career low in 2009, when he had just four starts in 16 games during his rookie season in Philadelphia.

McCoy’s playing status against the Lions is cloudy for various reasons.

For one, he’s injured. McCoy had just 1 yard on two carries and also dropped a pass in playing nine snaps before being sidelined in a 27-23 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday.

With Buffalo (4-9) out of playoff contention, the Bills are also focused on evaluating their youth over their final three games.

Undrafted rookie running back Keith Ford was promoted off the practice squad in a move coach Sean McDermott said was based on merits.

“Keith, for a rookie, has worked extremely hard since Day 1, and continues to earn the right, so we brought him up this week,” McDermott said.

As for McCoy, McDermott would only say “we’ll just take it one day at a time right now” when asked if he expects the veteran to be able to practice this week.

McCoy was a limited participant during the team’s pre-practice stretching period. He then jogged lightly off to the side once practice began.

Backup running back Chris Ivory practiced fully after hurting his left shoulder in the fourth quarter against the Jets. The Bills also have a fourth running back on their roster, rookie Marcus Murphy.

While McCoy and the rest of the running backs have struggled, rookie quarterback Josh Allen has suddenly become Buffalo’s top running threat. Allen has combined for 335 yards rushing in his past three games, and now leads the team with 490 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Ford spent his first two seasons at Oklahoma before ending his college career with two seasons at Texas A&M, where he combined for 1,217 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns in 26 games.

Ford learned of his promotion shortly after being informed by his father that Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll spoke highly of the running back during a news conference on Monday.

“He said, my name came up out of nowhere, and he was like, ‘It’s kind of weird Keith, you should watch it. They think highly of you,'” Ford said. “I watched it, and not too long after that I get a call from my agent. … It’s a blessing. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

Daboll said he had a soft spot for Ford because of his work ethic.

“He’s one of the guys that kind of stands in the background when we’re working our reps and is asking a lot of questions,” Daboll said. “He’s a young guy that’s trying to develop the best he can. You appreciate guys like that.”

NOTES: Kicker Stephen Hauschka (hip) did not practice, though McDermott said he expects him to be ready to play Sunday. … Safety Dean Marlowe was promoted from the practice squad a day after Buffalo placed cornerback Taron Johnson on injured reserve. … The Bills signed WR Tanner McEvoy, TE Kyle Carter and CB Josh Thornton to their practice squad.


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