9:13am: With most of their top running backs dealing with an injury of some sort, the Bills are having internal discussions about whether or not to pursue free agent running back Ray Rice, reports Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
Starting running back LeSean McCoy is the latest player in the Bills’ backfield to be sidelined. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), McCoy, who injured his hamstring on Tuesday, is expected to be ready to go for the team’s regular-season opener against the Colts. Still, with McCoy expected to miss a few weeks, and Fred Jackson (hamstring), Anthony Dixon (calf), and Karlos Williams (illness) also battling health issues, a veteran addition may be necessary.
Rice, of course, comes with plenty of baggage — because of the elevator video that showed him knocking his then-fiancée unconscious, no team has been willing to take a flier on him since the Ravens released him last fall. It doesn’t help Rice’s case that the last time he saw the field, in 2013, he had a miserable season in Baltimore, averaging just 3.1 yard per rush on 214 carries, and 5.5 yards per reception on 58 catches.
Under new head coach Rex Ryan, however, the Bills have shown a willingness this offseason to roll the dice on players with troubling off-field reputations, including Richie Incognito, Percy Harvin, and IK Enemkpali. Ryan also has some history with Rice, having served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in Baltimore during the running back’s first year with the Ravens in 2008.
Reports this offseason have indicated that, while some general managers and coaches have expressed interest in Rice, owners have been reluctant to sign off on him. So if the Bills decide they want to add the former Raven to their roster, it will require Terry and Kim Pegula’s approval.