Bills running back LeSean McCoy returns to practice
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) So long as he can practice, LeSean McCoy believes he can play.
And that held true Thursday, when the Buffalo Bills running back tested his injured left hamstring in practice before announcing he expects to play at Seattle on Monday night.
''I felt good. Mentally, I feel great,'' McCoy said. ''So I'm ready to roll.''
The practice session was Buffalo's first this week, and McCoy's first time back on the field since aggravating the injury in a 28-25 loss at Miami on Oct. 23, four days after he was hurt. Though he doesn't regret pushing himself to play against Miami, McCoy noted the lack of practice time leading up to the game contributed to his poor production. He managed just 11 yards on eight carries, plus a 2-yard catch, before being sidelined in the third quarter.
''It's one thing to watch tape and dissect a team. It's another to actually do that and also prepare for the defense we're going to face,'' McCoy said. ''I feel a lot better today than in the past.''
And McCoy dismissed the notion of the benefit he might get in giving his hamstring two more weeks of rest, considering the Bills enter their bye week off after playing the Seahawks.
''Nah, we've got to win this game,'' he said. ''That's what matters most right now. If I can't go, I can't go. But right now I feel good, and I've got a lot more days left until the game.''
The prospect of getting their top offensive threat back is good news for the Bills (4-4) in attempting to snap a two-game skid while dealing with a rash of injuries at receiver.
Starter Sammy Watkins is out with a left foot injury. No. 2 receiver Robert Woods is playing despite an injury to his left foot. And speedster Marquise Goodwin returned to practice Thursday after missing the past week while being evaluated for a concussion. Brandon Tate's status is also uncertain because he is in the NFL's concussion protocol after being hurt in a 41-25 loss to New England on Sunday.
The Bills were so desperate for receivers, they lured Percy Harvin out of retirement on Tuesday. Coach Rex Ryan hasn't ruled out Harvin from playing against the Seahawks even though he hasn't played since Buffalo's 14-13 win at Tennessee on Oct. 11, 2015.
When healthy, McCoy has been Buffalo's top offensive threat this season. He leads the team with 598 yards rushing and is tied for fifth in the NFL with seven touchdowns, including one receiving.
McCoy's impact is particularly notable when comparing the Bills' four wins and losses.
In four victories, Buffalo's rushing attack has combined for 847 yards and eight touchdowns. In four losses, the ground game has totaled 385 yards and six scores.
''Any time you get one of the best playmakers in the NFL back, that's valuable to the team,'' center Eric Wood said. ''But we want him to be healthy, too, so we'll see how the week shakes out.''
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor could certainly use some reinforcements. He's coming off two losses in which he has combined to go 33 of 66 for 404 yards and a touchdown.
''It definitely brings another dynamic to our offense,'' Taylor said.
Not all the news was promising on the injury front.
Starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' playing status is uncertain because of a groin injury he sustained against New England. It's the latest setback to a player who opened the season serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and then missed the next three games with a hamstring injury.
''Man, if it's not one thing, it's another,'' Dareus said.
As for the chances of him playing Monday, Dareus said: ''It's to be determined right now.''
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