As Jordan Matthews left the game with a broken thumb in week 4, when the Buffalo Bills faced the Atlanta Falcons, Bills’ fans felt the pain of another wide receiver down. Anquan Boldin retired after 13 days with the team. Sammy Watkins was traded in the offseason. Andre Holmes and Kaelin Clay are not guys who inspire double coverage. However, a bye week for Buffalo may be all the time that Matthews needs after the thumb surgery. According to coach Sean McDermott, as stated on Buffalo, Mathews is listed as day-to-day in terms of being active on the Buffalo roster.

If he continues to heal this week, he may be ready in time for Buffalo to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home.

Bills’ bye week is perfect timing

Buffalo was surviving their injuries with a “next man up” approach until Week 4. That is when Jordan Matthews left the Falcons’ game with a broken thumb. Cornerback E.J. Gaines was also injured in that game. Gaines has been a great cornerback for the Bills, who acquired him in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Sammy Watkins. Matthews has been the leading wide receiver for Buffalo. Buffalo’s Week 6 bye may have done the team a favor. Gaines' injury has improved to being limited in practice right now, as he heals from a groin injury. Matthews’ week-to-week thumb injury is now upgraded to day-to-day, which is a much needed bright spot for the team.

Without tight end Charles Clay, who is out multiple weeks with a knee injury, the Buffalo Bills need a slot guy like Matthews to be on the field and help quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Matthews' return can help rushing attack

One of the biggest surprises this year has been Buffalo’s struggling run game. LeSean McCoy does not even have 300 yards of rushing yet this season.

Backup Mike Tolbert is not adding too much to the rushing mix. Lack of deep threat wide receivers is making the running game tougher. The box is getting stacked by opposing defenses. Buffalo’s offensive line is also struggling to make blocks and create some holes for the run. This is where Matthews can help. If he is in the game on Sunday against Tampa Bay, defenses will have to cover him, which will reduce the players crowding the line against McCoy.

The Bucs will also have to account for tight end Nick O’Leary, who had a great game against the Cincinatti Bengals two weeks ago. Matthews has one touchdown this year.

The Bills are currently 3-2 in the AFC East division where the Patriots currently lead.