Nyheim Hines: 4 free agents Buffalo Bills could look into for replacement

The Buffalo Bills are about to begin training camp, but already they are apparently dealing with their first significant injury of the year. Nyheim Hines, who had a major knee injury off-site, will now miss the rest of the season, according to Tom Pelissero.

Hines was acquired by the Bills through a trade during the previous season, and despite playing little in the offense, he served as the team's main kick and punt returner. In the regular season's final game against the Patriots, he had two kickoff returns for scores, which were remarkable returns. Hines was anticipated to keep that position going into this season while also getting greater offensive playing time.

The Bills have few alternatives at this point in the offseason, and it is unlikely that they will locate a guy who can fill both of the positions Nyheim Hines was supposed to play. Darrynton Evans is allegedly coming in for a workout on Monday, so the organization has already started looking for a replacement.

Let's examine the potential choices for the Buffalo Bills in more detail, starting with Evans.

#1. Darrynton Evans

At the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected Darrynton Evans in the third round. He would only play in five games as a rookie due to a hamstring injury that would last the entire season. In his second season, he regrettably experienced ailments once more, playing in just one game and was placed on injured reserve twice.

Evans played with the Chicago Bears last year before being cut following the season. He has 14 carries for 64 yards in six games and six appearances.

Evans has 10 career kickoff returns, which gives him some experience even though he is not as good a receiver as Hines is. Evans has never played more than 10 games in a season while in the NFL, so his health has always been the primary issue. Going per bet on the super bowl, Evans has been tipped to go more than games in the new season.

Being with the Bills for a workout is undoubtedly advantageous for Darrynton Evans, but it is by no means certain.

#2. J.D. McKissic

J.D. McKissic is the running back who is most likely the greatest fit to take Nyheim Hines' job, although it might be a little trickier than some of the other alternatives. In terms of a receiver out of the backfield, McKissic is arguably the most similar to Hines. He has 220 career receptions, including 80 with Washington in 2020.

McKissic has 57 career returns, averaging 19 yards per return, giving him the most experience of any running back among those who return kickoffs.

But since there might still be some unsolved concerns between the two sides, this arrangement might be a little trickier than the others. McKissic and the Bills had a two-year contract agreement in place throughout the offseason, but Washington got in touch with McKissic after the deal had been disclosed but not yet signed.

It would be interesting to see if the Buffalo Bills can get past what transpired during the previous offseason now that J.D. McKissic is once again a free agent and could replace practically everything Nyheim Hines was supposed to do.

#3. Trenton Cannon

Trenton Cannon was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the draft, where he spent two seasons before playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2020, spending time with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in 2021, and appearing in two games for Tennessee Titans this past season.

With only 51 career running attempts and 20 career receptions, most of which were in his rookie season, he hasn't had many offensive opportunities during that period. Nevertheless, he has produced more on special teams, returning 34 kickoffs for an average of 22.8 yards in his career.

At 5'11" and 185 pounds, Cannon is a smaller running back who, if signed by the Bills, would likely play a similar role to Taiwan Jones in recent years. On game days, he would officially be the Bills' third running back, but he would play nearly entirely on special teams.

#4. Kareem Hunt

Kareem Hunt would be a fantastic replacement for Nyheim Hines if the Buffalo Bills think they can replace him as a pass receiver out of the backfield with players already on the roster, such as Khalil Shakir or Deonte Harty.

Kareem Hunt has played for the Cleveland Browns for the past four years and has been a fantastic complement to Nick Chubb as the pass catcher out of the backfield. He has 132 receptions, 973 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns over that four-year period. With 442 attempts, 1,874 yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns, he has also contributed as a rusher.

Whether or not the Buffalo Bills and Kareem Hunt can agree on a contract is the main unanswered question. Hunt likely has the highest market value of the running backs on this list, but at this time in the offseason, the possibility of playing in this offense may be enough for Hunt to think about accepting a lower offer.

FanPosts are just that; posts created by the fans. They are in no way indicative of the opinions of SBN and the authors of For Whom the Cowbell Tolls.

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