John Brown’s return has been delayed due to COVID-19.
While Sean McDermott, Josh Allen, and the Buffalo Bills have already locked up the AFC East, there is still plenty of work to do as the 2020 season winds to a close. While a win against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots would help them in their push to the No. 2 seed in the AFC, they will have to pull that off without the services of wide receiver John Brown despite optimism that he could play today.
While Brown has been activated off of IR, he, in addition to running back Christian Wade and safety Josh Thomas, has been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list, as they were deemed to have been into close contact with running back and fellow COVID-19 list member TJ Yeldon.
We've activated WR John Brown from IR but have placed Brown, S Josh Thomas and RB Christian Wade on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Per NFL protocols, those players have been defined to have been in close contact with RB T.J. Yeldon, who was placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 yesterday. pic.twitter.com/jyIEGgW61y
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) December 28, 2020
John Brown gives the Bills’ passing game a vertical element when he plays
While injuries have sidelined Brown for a good chunk of this year, the former D-II star at Pittsburg State and Arizona Cardinals burner helped give Allen a vertical threat during the Wyoming quarterback’s sophomore season in 2019, totaling 1,060 yards in his first season as a Bill.
While Brown was going to be relegated to WR2 duties after the Stefon Diggs acquisition, he has played in just eight games this season. A four-wide offense featuring Diggs, Brown, Cole Beasley, and rookie Gabriel Davis sounds promising, but Brown hasn’t been on the field much during this difficult season.
If Brown’s stay on the COVID-19 list ends up being a short one, Buffalo will get one of the fastest players in the game back into the fold right as the offense is starting to ascend into that elite tier. The Bills will be dangerous without Brown in the postseason, but that lethality quotient would increase exponentially if he is able to take the top off of the opposing defense.