The Bills have been shorthanded in the secondary all season and things could get even worse against the Ravens this weekend if cornerback Leodis McKelvin isn’t able to play.
McKelvin left last week’s loss to the Jets with a hamstring injury and was limited in practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session. Coach Doug Marrone said Friday morning, via the team’s website, that McKelvin’s status will likely be determined during pregame warmups and that he thinks the corner “has a chance” of being in the lineup.
Marrone also said that the injuries to McKelvin and fellow cornerbacks Ron Brooks and Stephon Gilmore have forced the team to change their defensive philosophy. They can’t be as aggressive as they’d like because it would mean leaving inexperienced corners on an island, something that burnt the team against the Jets last weekend when Santonio Holmes beat Justin Rogers for a 69-yard touchdown pass.
“Absolutely. Anytime something happens whether it be injury and you start moving people [around] everybody has strengths and weaknesses. You do have to start making adjustments and it becomes a chain reaction,” Marrone said. “The philosophy is to go out there and play, but to be smart. We’re not just going to leave those guys out there all the time. We’ve got to mix it up.”
If McKelvin does play, he’ll likely be less than 100 percent and that should keep the secondary as an area that Baltimore will attack early and often on Sunday. If Buffalo’s pass rush can’t get home more often than it did last week, that could make for a long day.