Head coach Rex Ryan announced on Thursday that the Buffalo Bills will be without its two starters, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday. Both players will miss their team's match against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
Watkins' absence is due to an ankle injury he sustained during last weekend's game when Buffalo lost to Cincinnati. Taylor is currently dealing with an MCL (knee) sprain that is expected to sideline him for several weeks. When asked about Taylor's condition, Ryan told the media that he is "not going to force him [Taylor] out there when he's not fully healed."
Since the 26-year-old quarterback is out, EJ Manuel will take his place. He will play as starting QB for a second straight week when the Bills take on the Jaguars on Sunday. Manuel completed 28 out of 42 passes for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception, as well as an 81.7 QB rating for his team's recent 34-21 loss to the Bengals.
Aside from Taylor and Watkins, Ryan also confirmed the absence of four other players from Sunday's game due to individual injuries. The Bills head coach said that running back Karlos Williams (concussion), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (knee), offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (concussion), and wide receiver Percy Harvin (non-injury related) will not be joining their teammates in the UK.
Harvin, who is down with a lingering hip injury, reportedly did not join the Buffalo Bills in London due to personal reasons. Moreover, because of the injury to his hip as well as on his knee, the 27-year-old wide receiver is already thinking about retiring from the league, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News.
Injuries have kept the former first-round pick out of 10 games during his first four years in the NFL. It also cost him his entire season save for one game as well as the Super Bowl after he transferred to the Seattle Seahawks two years ago. He is now with his fourth team in four years and has caught 19 balls for 218 yards along with one touchdown this season, his first with the Buffalo Bills.
"I'm not going to say anything more than what we said yesterday about it. I don't know where he is right now," Ryan told reporters on Thursday when asked about Harvin's status.