Oct 16, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Justin Hunter (17) jumps in the stands after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the San Francisco 49ers at New Era Field. Buffalo beat San Francisco 45-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Former second-round pick Justin Hunter is making an impact early on with the Buffalo Bills.
However, without Watkins — and the injury concerns with Robert Woods — Hunter has been thrown into the fire through his first three weeks with the team.
10/23at Miami Dolphins
10/30New England Patriots
11/7at Seattle Seahawks
11/20at Cincinnati Bengals
For the most part, Hunter has found success early on in his tenure in Buffalo. After being a healthy scratch Week 4, Hunter has caught a touchdown in each of the last two games, with each coming as his only receptions this season.
While Hunter’s impact has been limited so far, just catching a pair of passes, the former Tennessee Titans draft pick could be set up for a larger role Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
According to reports after Wednesday’s practice, Woods was still in the walking boot he was wearing after this past Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Buffalo News’ Nick Veronica tweeted after the practice that Woods was wearing the boot in the locker room.
Robert Woods still has a boot on his right foot/ankle in the #Bills locker room. "Just trying to get back out there as fast as I can."
While it’s only Wednesday, this isn’t good news for sure, but does bode well for Hunter.
The 6-foot-4 wideout has a frame unlike the rest of the Bills receivers and Tyrod Taylor has made the most of Hunter’s size so far. A combination of Hunter and Charles Clay could be a dynamic red-zone duo when the Bills don’t hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy moving forward.
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While the Bills rely heavily on their run game, opportunities will be there for Hunter to make an impact in the passing game, especially if Woods is out this weekend. In fact, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn touched on Hunter’s role expanding recently at BuffaloBills.com.
“Justin is playing faster,” Lynn said. “He’s played faster all week because he’s been here. He understands the terminology and the system and what we’re doing now. So we’re definitely going to get him more involved, and he’ll have an opportunity to make some plays this week. More plays, let’s just say.”
However, Buffalo’s game plan could be slightly impacted this weekend if McCoy misses the game Sunday. McCoy did not finish practice Wednesday due to “tightness” in his hamstring.
While the injury doesn’t seem serious at the moment, it’s worth keeping an eye on the coming days.
Mike Gillislee: "He'll be OK. He'll be good. Not at all (worried). But if he's not, I'll just step up, me and the other running backs." https://t.co/NqIhZroHPy