Bills' top cornerback Gilmore needs wrist surgery

8/26/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

With a myriad of quarterback injuries, raw talent at wide receiver, and a ragtag team of offensive linemen, the Buffalo Bills' offense is certainly not looking up for 2013. Their defense, however, could be a nice surprise this year. They have Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus to eat up blockers up front, Mario Williams to bring an elite pass rushing presence off the edge, and Jairus Byrd as one of the league's premier playmaking safeties. In addition, new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine comes from working under the great defensive mind of Rex Ryan. A recent injury to cornerback Stephon Gilmore, however, could diminish the Bills' chances of fielding a top notch defense.

Blog Photo - Bills' top cornerback Gilmore needs wrist surgeryThough he flew under the radar last season in Buffalo's 22nd ranked defense, Gilmore - a rookie in 2012 - emerged as a legitimate shutdown corner during the second half of the season. The 22-year-old exclusively shadowed opposing No. 1 receivers and often took them out of the game completely. Entering just his second season as a pro, Gilmore was expected to be dominant for the Bills.

Gilmore suffered a wrist injury during Saturday's preseason game against the Washington Redskins, and it was reported Monday that he would require surgery and miss "about eight weeks." The Bills view a Week 6 return as a best case scenario for Gilmore, so they will not place him on the injured reserve/designated to return list, which would hold him out until Week 9.

What really hurts the Bills in the wake of Gilmore's injury is not just how great Gilmore is, but their lack of depth behind him. Crezdon Butler - an Arizona Cardinals practice squad player last season - is expected to start in Gilmore's absence. Going from one of the league's best corners to a borderline NFL talent will certainly hurt the Bills' defense.

During their first four games, the Bills will face Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Joe Flacco, all of whom are surely licking their chops at the idea of Butler taking Gilmore's spot in the starting lineup.

With a new head coach, a highly drafted rookie quarterback, and a young, up-and-coming defense, things were looking up for Buffalo this offseason, but bad luck has been diminishing the progress of the franchise. It may be another long season in Buffalo.
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