The Buffalo Bills have a star on their hands in Devin Singletary. It just took an injury to remind them of that fact.
Singletary, an All-American running back from Florida Atlantic, impressed as a rookie last year. Buffalo has been hesitant to turn Singletary into a lead back the way O.J. Simpson or Thurman Thomas once was in a Bills uniform.
Let Singletary’s Week 3 performance, which came with teammate Zack Moss out, make the Buffalo Bills reconsider. Singletary is the key to Buffalo’s hopes of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Devin Singletary had a strong rookie season
Despite running for 66 touchdowns in three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Devin Singletary fell to the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Concerns about Singletary’s size — the NFL officially lists him as standing 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 203 pounds — and the competition he faced at FAU played a role in his drop. Buffalo, which had just added veteran Frank Gore in free agency, drafted Singletary with the 74th overall pick.
That move quickly paid off for all parties, as Singletary ran for 775 yards and two touchdowns on 5.1 yards per carry across 12 games (eight starts). Singletary also turned 29 catches into 194 yards and two touchdowns.
If not for an early injury that cost him three games and Buffalo sitting him in Week 17, Singletary could have easily surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
Singletary added 58 rushing yards and 76 receiving yards in Buffalo’s AFC wild-card round loss to Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.
Singletary’s stock took a hit when Zack Moss arrived
Devin Singletary’s emergence at the end of last year, coupled with Frank Gore’s age and departure in free agency, signaled the Bills would make the former All-American their lead back in 2020.
That idea came true, to an extent. Singletary moved to the 1A role Gore had when the 2019 season opened, but he — much like Gore — had to share carries with a rookie, Utah’s Zack Moss.
The 86th overall pick in April’s draft, Moss ran for 48 yards on 17 carries — an ugly 2.8 yards per attempt — in his first two games. Moss also caught three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
Singletary didn’t sit on the bench in those first two games, though. The second-year back had 30 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in a Week 1 victory over the Jets.
In Week 2, Singletary had 56 rushing yards and added another 20 through the air in a 31-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Devin Singletary just affirmed why he’s the Bills’ next star
With Zack Moss out with a toe injury, Devin Singletary received the lion’s share of the running back touches in Week 3.
Singletary didn’t need long to remind Bills coach Sean McDermott why he, and not Moss, is the Bills’ long-term hope at running back.
Singletary ran for 71 yards on 13 carries — an impressive 5.46 YPC — and turned four catches into 50 yards. As he did in college and a rookie, Singletary showcased his athleticism and agility in the Bills’ 35-32 comeback victory over the Rams.
Fantasy football owners might be disappointed that Singletary only had 157 rushing yards and 93 receiving yards through his first three games.
Singletary is also yet to score a touchdown, although he came close at Week 3 before Los Angeles stopped him at the goal-line.
This is Devin Singletary’s team, and Buffalo needs to accept that with three challenging games ahead. Buffalo has consecutive road games at the Raiders and Titans before returning home in Week 6 to host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.