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Bills Position Preview: Runningbacks

Image: Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps one of the most scrutinized positions in the NFL is now the running-back spot. Big names like Jonathon Taylor and Saquon Barkley have had trouble getting their demands met. The argument made by those in charge is that backs don’t produce like they used to because of all the miles they have. But that simply isn’t the case. In order to have a decent offense you need to be able to be balanced. In order to do that you need to have a game changing guy at running-back. Even though there are always quality guys available, it doesn’t hurt to have that superstar back there.

Running-Back 1: James Cook

Running-back for the Bills has been that position on offense that has been lacking. But after a year serving in the backup role James Cook is set to break out. Cook finished the season with 89 carries for 507 yards. he rushed for two touchdowns while also catching one. This production came in a backup role as Devin Singletary got the majority of touches. Now with him gone Cook’s role should now expand and he should finish the season near the thousand yard mark.

Running-Back 2: Damien Harris

James Cook may end up being the lightning for the Bills, but Damien Harris will certainly be the thunder. Harris rushed for 462 yards and scored three touchdowns last season. This was a limited sample size as he missed some time with injuries. He should serve well for the Bills as a short down running-back and those tough goal line situations. Harris should finish near the five hundred yard mark, with around 7-8 touchdowns.

RB 3: Latavius Murray

Here is a running-back that’s sort of a mystery. Latavius Murray has always been a contributor to every team he has played on. Murray always has a game a season where he goes off for multiple touchdowns in a game. He truly is a game changer. But he isn’t the typical superstar running-back.  His success comes in waves usually. But when Murray is on he is on. Look for him to take some snaps away from Damien Harris if he can get going. Murray was signed because of the injury to Nyheim Hines. He may end up producing more than fans and the organization itself realizes. Out of all the Bills running-backs Murray is the one bringing in the most production from the previous season.

The Rest

The Bills also have Darrynton Evans and Jordan Mims in their running-back core. These guys are fighting to make the roster. There is simply no other way to word this. While these guys may be a younger option the production simply hasn’t been there. Mims was signed as Undrafted Free agent and most notably made an impact in a preseason game. His highlight worthy play was hurdle on top of a 25 yard catch and run against the Colts. Now this next guy isn’t a running-back but he does occasionally get the ball. Reggie Gilliam is one of the better fullbacks in the league. He is a great blocker and can score touchdowns when needed. He fits what the Bills need on offense and felt like he deserved a mention with his roster spot being secured.

What Could’ve Been

Nyheim Hines will remain one of the biggest what if’s of the running-back position of the 2023 season. Now sure he wasn’t going to be the number one for Buffalo, but he was going to get some touches. He also provides a lot in the special teams game. Most notably last season he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against the New England Patriots. Without Hines the Bills will have to turn somewhere else for special teams production.


The Running-back core will be much improved this season. Look for Buffalo to have an offensive explosion especially since now it wont fall on Josh Allen’s shoulders. He will finally have capable backs around him to lighten the load. In turn this will make teams respect the running game and allow more deep shots to open up. With the improved running-back room in mind look for the Bills to secure one of the top two AFC seeds.

Like the previews? Check out the Quarterbacks preview here!

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