Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan needs to be less concerned with sticking it to the Jets and more concerned with how he's handling his crop of running backs, who are dropping quicker than "F"- bombs in an NWA song.
With five of his running backs out with various injuries, Ryan's projected ground and pound attack is looking down and out. Stud off-season acquisition LeSean McCoy will undergo an MRI on his hamstring after leaving practice Tuesday.
The three-time Pro Bowler, who was traded and then signed a sweet deal five-year deal with the Bills in March, was seen by multiple reporters grabbing his leg during red zone work and then limping into the locker room. Hamstring injuries usually aren't that big of a threat to a player's season, but the fact that the Bills are giving Shady an MRI hints at a more serious problem and that would be a disaster for Ryan and the Bills, who plan on building their offense around the multi-talented former Eagle.
Joining McCoy on the "I'm potentially dope but unable to show it" list is vet ground-gainer Fred Jackson, who has been out for nearly all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Reserves Anthony Dixon (calf) and Bryce Brown (hamstring) are also on the lamb.
That leaves undrafted rookie Bronson Hill and Ricky Seale as the only two healthy running backs, although Jackson, Dixon, and Brown could be back on the field next week and McCoy is expected to be ready by opening game.
Can anyone say Ray Rice ?
The former Baltimore Ravens star moved up the depth chart of available backs earlier this week when Chris Johnson came off the free agent market, signing with the Arizona Cardinals.
Rice has been feenin' to get another shot with an NFL team since being reinstated by the NFL after serving his suspension for a vicious video-captured elevator assault on his then-fiance (now wife) Janay Palmer-Rice. FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo reports the Bills have begun "internal discussions on whether to" give Rice a holler.
The Bills want to be a ground and pound offense in 2015. But first they need to get some running backs healthy. Why not sign Rice? Ryan seems to like football players with mean hooks.
He should sign Ray using the same justification he used to sign his former player IK Enemkpali .
Ryan, who made headlines last Wednesday by signing former Jets linebacker Enemkpali off waivers one day after the Jets released him for breaking quarterback Geno Smith's jaw with a locker room sucker punch, says IK was a "good teammate" when he played for him last year with the Jets, but everyone knows Ryan was up to his old clownish ways and just trying to take a jab at the Jets organization by acquiring the linebacker prior to any litigation or potential punishment being levied by the NFL.
The NFL is reviewing last Tuesday's incident and the linebacker could be punished under the league's personal conduct policy, as it is considered a case of workplace violence, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. He could have also face criminal charges, but Smith respected the street code and refused to go that route.
Ryan is probably the only HC in the NFL that would have pulled that maneuver. Most HC's without an agenda would let the situation play out and then put IK through a serious mental screening process before signing dude. Not Ryan. Always with the show. Always trying to "make a splash." Always speeding.
Rice and Ryan were together in B-More early in Rice's career and word on the NFL street is Ryan "loves" Rice -- always did. Ryan was a defensive coordinator then and Rice was a young football legend from New Rochelle, who helped put unheralded Rutgers University football on the national map and was on his way to stardom with the Ravens. Ryan is the perfect coach to take a chance on a tainted or outcasted player because he continuously shows the world that win or lose, "he just don't give a funk."
He's not Shady McCoy.
But Rice's hunger alone has got be good for at least 4.0 yards a carry out the gate. His legs are fresher than a baby cheetah's.
Rice has been waiting since 2013 to get back on the gridiron and if he is going to ever play in the NFL again, somebody has to step up and give the man a shot to provide for his family and the wife he mistreated at one point. Rice has seemed to survive the gauntlet of Women's activist groups, who now believe he deserves a second chance.
It was said that only desperation by some NFL team would allow Ray Rice to re-enter the NFL as a forgiven man. Well with the 0-1 Bills set to play their second preseason game on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns -- and not a proven running back in sight for Ryan to execute his game plan -- Bills brass may just be willing to gamble on a sleeping giant and complete Rice's full cycle of redemption. Or not...