May 28, 2024

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook faced a setback in the middle of the week, but he now seems to be making a timely recovery to be available for a crucial matchup this weekend.

The Bills are set to face the Los Angeles Chargers on December 23, a game of utmost importance for their playoff aspirations. Cook, who delivered a career-best performance in the team’s 31-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on December 17, encountered an illness that caused him to miss Wednesday’s practice, raising concerns about his availability for Saturday’s game.

Buffalo Bills RB James Cook Gives Team Life After Early Benching vs. Denver  Broncos - Sports Illustrated Buffalo Bills News, Analysis and More

However, Bills head coach Sean McDermott provided an optimistic update this week, indicating that Cook is on the right track to rejoin his teammates in Los Angeles.

James Cook Back at Practice

According to a report by Joe Buscaglia from The Athletic on Thursday, Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott expressed optimism about James Cook recovering from his illness in time for Saturday’s game. McDermott anticipates Cook participating in Thursday’s practice and being ready for the matchup against the Chargers, despite the running back missing Wednesday’s practice due to illness. Cook recently achieved career highs with 25 carries for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Cowboys. He has been a key contributor to the offense in the past three games, with notable performances against the Chiefs and Eagles.

Despite their recent win against the Cowboys, the Bills, with an 8-6 record, find themselves outside the playoff bracket due to tiebreakers. However, they have an opportunity to gain ground this weekend against the Chargers, who are dealing with significant injuries. Quarterback Justin Herbert is out for the season, and wide receiver Keenan Allen has been ruled out for Saturday’s game.

Bills Dealing With Another Injury

While Cook seems likely to participate in the game against the Chargers, the Bills may face the prospect of losing yet another crucial running back, as Ty Johnson sustained a shoulder injury in the victory over the Cowboys and underwent X-rays post-game. Johnson, who was promoted from the practice squad after Damien Harris landed on injured reserve, has assumed the No. 2 role behind Cook.

During Wednesday and Thursday practices, the team designated Johnson as limited. In the event that he cannot play, the Bills might turn to Leonard Fournette, a veteran, to be elevated from the practice squad and make his debut for the season with the team.

Expressing his difficulty in remaining on the practice squad, Fournette stated that he feels confident and prepared to contribute to the team. He mentioned, “I’m comfortable, up to speed. I’m ready, man. Just waiting on my opportunity. Of course, my first time really being in this position, so you know, I have my days. I think it’s humbling me, testing me, my faith and everything, but I’m getting better,” as reported by Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News on December 5.

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