What the Addition of Steven Sims Means for Buffalo Bills

The team suddenly is depleted at wide receiver and returner spots.
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Exit wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie (shoulder), Marquez Stevenson (foot), Cole Beasley (Reserve/COVID list) and Gabriel Davis (Reserve/COVID list).

Enter Rico Gafford and Steven Sims, stage right, for the Buffalo Bills.

Simply put, the team suddenly need bodies at a position that at full strength is believed to be pretty darned good. But even with rosters still swelled with extra players before final cuts, the Bills this week became dangerously depleted at receiver, thanks to injuries and their COVID-19 crisis.

McKenzie and Stevenson also had handled the bulk of the return work in the preseason as part of a competition for those jobs with fellow receiver Brandon Powell. Now they're out indefinitely as part of a growing list of temporarily disabled Bills.

So it's not surprising to see the Bills jump on the free agent Sims shortly after his release by the Washington Football Team. He has experience returning kicks and punts as well as playing for Washington's offense the previous two seasons, after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

The Bills on Tuesday were awarded Gafford on a waiver claim after he was let go by Arizona. The converted cornerback has three seasons of experience with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders.

Both could see extensive time Saturday against Green Bay in Buffalo's final preseason game.

Sims has caught 61 passes for 575 yards and five TDs in his career. He led the NFL with 32 kickoff returns in 2019, taking one back for a touchdown.

Like Bills tight end Jacob Hollister, Gafford was a college teammate of quarterback Josh Allen at Wyoming, where he snagged six interceptions in 27 career games.

Gafford was converted to a receiver by the Raiders, with whom he was deep reserve before failing to catch on with the Cardinals this summer.

McKenzie was at practice Wednesday with his left arm in a sling. McKenzie, a rookie, was off to the side doing some work.

Coach Sean McDermott is expected to provide updates on their conditions at his press conference before Thursday's practice.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.