The Buffalo Bills were very close to losing their entire tight end unit due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team this week. Tyler Kroft avoided contracting the virus, thanks to his the birth of his daughter.
We’ve seen the danger that the virus presents to entire position groups. Because those units spend so much time together in close contact, between practice, film study, and other meetings, if one player has COVID-19, it is very easy for him to pass it along to position mates. We’ve seen that play out with groups like the Las Vegas Raiders offensive linemen this season.
Bills tight end Dawson Knox recently tested positive for the virus. Now, three other players—tight ends Lee Smith, Tommy Sweeney, and Nate Becker—are being quarantined after close contact with Knox. Kroft was at practice, but according to Adam Schefter, missed the meetings that led to that decision, as his wife Alexa was giving birth to his daughter Grace.
The tight ends haven’t been a huge offensive weapon for Josh Allen and the offense so far this year. Tyler Kroft is tied for the position lead with six catches and two touchdowns, with 43 receiving yards on the year. It looks like he’ll be in a lot on Sunday against the New York Jets.
Bills TE Tyler Kroft was spared from outbreak that hit his unit Friday, and here’s why: His wife, Alexa, was in labor for more than 24 hours and delivered baby Grace around 5:00 am Friday morning. Tyler Kroft was at practice Friday, but missed the meetings where the virus passed.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 24, 2020
Knox also has six catches, for 93 yards from the tight end spot. Lee Smith is the only other tight end with a catch this year, hauling in a one-yard touchdown reception on his only target of the season.
Sunday’s game is an important one for the Buffalo Bills. After a 4-0 start, the team has come back to Earth a bit, getting blown out by the Tennessee Titans 42-16, and losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 26-17 last week. The New York Jets, the NFL’s final winless team, provide a great opportunity to reset and get back on track.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET from Metlife Stadium.