Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- A trying week for the Buffalo Bills just got a little bit worse. Head Coach Doug Marrone confirmed to reporters today that top cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be out anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks due to a wrist injury that will require surgery.
Gilmore's procedure will be done to repair a fracture in the wrist, which will keep the cornerback out for the majority of the first half of the season. He suffered the injury in the first half of the team's third preseason game against the Washington Redskins and was taken to the locker room for tests.
The former first-round pick is the team's top cornerback on the roster and figured to be relied heavily on by the defense in man-to-man coverage. How the team reacts schematically without Gilmore is a huge question for the start of the regular season.
"Well, I think right now we’re going to evaluate to see where we are with that, to see what the ability of those players that we have out there are in these next couple days. But then I think you have to look really hard at matchups, really," Marrone said. "Do we feel good about these matchups and how do we want to match up defensively on teams’ receiving ability. So if you don’t feel comfortable in a matchup, obviously you can cloud him, put someone behind him, because at the end of the day if you’re just having single coverage man to man they can get to you. So it’s probably more schematic about how you want to go about it which puts a little bit more planning on our part but that’s what we do. Our job is to put our players in the best position."
While the team's second cornerback Leodis McKelvin was injured during training camp, the team looked under every rock possible on their roster to see which players may warrant first-team snaps in case of an injury.
At separate points throughout camp, all of Crezdon Butler, Justin Rogers, Ron Brooks, Nickell Robey, T.J. Heath and the now released Don Unamba each had some time with the first unit.
"Whenever you lose a player like that it’s, we consider a very good player, someone has to step up and play that position," Marrone said. "Right now, we’re looking at Rogers and Butler and Heath really to play that corner position."
The Bills have one final preseason game on Thursday against Detroit at Ralph Wilson Stadium.