Isaiah McKenzie

Buffalo Bills
Wide Receiver #84
Buffalo Bills
Wide Receiver #84

Isaiah McKenzie News

Staying with Buffalo

McKenzie agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract extension with the Bills on Sunday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: McKenzie was scheduled to hit free agency but will instead stick with the Bills after posting 20 catches for 178 yards and one touchdown to go along with nine carries for 47 yards and another score last season. The 26-year-old primarily worked as a return man and averaged 24.3 yards per kick return and 7.7 yards per punt return in 2021. Emmanuel Sanders is a pending free agent and Cole Beasley is seeking a trade, so McKenzie could be more involved in the offense next season depending on Buffalo's offseason additions at wide receiver.

Mar 13, 2022 3:14 PM EST

Gets four touches in playoff loss

McKenzie recorded one reception for a three-yard gain and carried three times for 15 yards across his 16 snaps on offense in Sunday's 42-36 overtime loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round.

Analysis: After busting out for 11 catches and 124 yards from scrimmage in the Bills' Week 16 win over the Patriots while both Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley were out of the lineup, McKenzie predictably saw his snap counts and targets trend downward in the games that followed. That being said, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll made more of an effort to keep McKenzie involved over the Bills' final two regular-season contests and two playoff games compared to the first half of the campaign, with the 26-year-old garnering no fewer than four touches in any of those contests. Buffalo will likely look to retain McKenzie this offseason, but he could face a difficult path to earning more work on offense unless the Bills choose not to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders while also eschewing any major additions at receiver through the draft or free agency.

Jan 25, 2022 12:46 PM EST

Back to life, back to reality

McKenzie caught one of two targets for six yards and rushed once for three yards in Sunday's 29-15 over the Falcons.

Analysis: Just as a welcome door opened for McKenzie in Week 16 with the absences of Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis and allowed him to post an 11-125-1 line, it shut just as quickly when the two teammates returned from COVID protocols to play this week against Atlanta. McKenzie should serve in his jack-of-all-trades role the rest of the way, barring injury to one of his teammates higher on the depth chart. While he has a tendency to sneak into the end zone on occasion in his all-purpose role, he won't be catching 11 balls on a single afternoon again anytime soon.

Jan 4, 2022 9:42 PM EST

Likely looking at decreased role

McKenzie could be in line to see decreased work on offense with Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis both back from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Even though Emmanuel Sanders is inactive with a knee injury, there are still three healthy wideouts presumably ahead of McKenzie on the depth chart, so there's a risk he's relegated back to return duties despite an outstanding effort in Week 16. With Beasley and Davis both out last week against New England, the door was open for McKenzie to log a career game, catching 11 of his 12 targets for 125 yards and a score. Amended NFL protocol will allow the position group to get closer to full strength faster than expected, however, so it's unclear what might be left over for McKenzie, even in a favorable matchup against Atlanta.

Jan 2, 2022 9:18 AM EST

Career day in larger role

McKenzie caught 11 of 12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 33-21 win over the Patriots. He also rushed once for minus-1 yard.

Analysis: McKenzie hadn't been targeted more than three times in a game this season coming in but thrived in a larger role with both Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown reception and hauled in a 28-yard pass to set up a fourth-quarter Devin Singletary touchdown en route to career highs in targets, catches and receiving yards. Davis has already been ruled out for the team's Week 17 matchup with the Falcons, but Beasley could be back for that one, though McKenzie should retain a prominent role in the game plan against the beatable Atlanta secondary after this breakout performance.

Dec 26, 2021 1:54 PM EST

Replacing Beasley this week

McKenzie figures to replace Cole Beasley (illness) as Buffalo's primary slot receiver Sunday against the Patriots, Chris Brown of the team's official website reports.

Analysis: Gabriel Davis (illness) will also miss the contest, while Emmanuel Sanders is returning from a one-week absence due to a knee injury. McKenzie was impressive in a limited role last season with a 30-282-5 receiving line on 34 targets, but he's been much quieter this year with just 11 targets and 38 receiving yards in 12 games, limiting the fantasy appeal in a difficult matchup with New England. Other candidates for added playing time without Beasley/Davis include WR Jake Kumerow, No. 2 Tommy Sweeney and H-back Reggie Gilliam.

Dec 24, 2021 1:00 PM EST

Inactive for Monday Night Football

McKenzie (coach's decision) is inactive for Monday's matchup with the Patriots.

Analysis: McKenzie will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game. The 5-foot-8 wideout doesn't play much on offense, but with Marquez Stevenson (coach's decision) also inactive Monday, it's unclear what the Bills plan to do for return men against the Patriots.

Dec 6, 2021 3:59 PM EST

Healthy scratch Thursday

McKenzie (coach's decision) is inactive for Thursday's game against the Saints.

Analysis: McKenzie played just nine offensive snaps in last week's loss to the Colts, and he wasn't targeted in the contest. Jake Kumerow could see a slight uptick in playing time Thursday.

Nov 25, 2021 3:55 PM EST

Plays through injury, scores TD

Coach Sean McDermott said McKenzie is "fine" after briefly leaving Sunday's win over the Jets due to an injury, Sal Capaccio of WGR Sports Radio 550 Buffalo reports. He caught one of three targets for 12 yards and had two carries for 17 yards and a touchdown.

Analysis: McKenzie returned to the field after suffering the injury, so it doesn't appear to be much of a concern. The 26-year-old played 13 offensive snaps and was one of four different Buffalo players to notch a rushing touchdown Sunday, which was his first score of the season.

Nov 15, 2021 2:23 PM EST

Returns to full practice

McKenize practiced fully Thursday after being limited during Wednesday's session due to a shoulder injury.

Analysis: The depth receiver and dangerous return man seems pretty likely to have a clear designation Friday ahead of the Bills' upcoming matchup with the rival Dolphins. McKenzie busted off 144 combined return yards in the Week 1 loss to the Steelers.

Sep 16, 2021 2:04 PM EST

Limited participant in practice

McKenzie (shoulder) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: McKenzie injured his shoulder catching a punt early in Sunday's season opener against the Steelers. The receiver was able to return to action later in the game. The Bills' starting return man's status for Sunday's game is uncertain at this point. If McKenzie is unable to play, the Bills will need to find a new return man, as McKenzie's backup, Marquez Stevenson, is on injured reserve.

Sep 15, 2021 6:18 PM EST

Back in Sunday

McKenzie (shoulder) returned to Sunday's game versus the Bills, Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reports.

Analysis: McKenzie had to leave the field for a spell after calling for a fair catch in the first quarter, but he was able to come back in and field another punt in the second quarter. Expect him to resume return duties for the Bills moving forward.

Sep 12, 2021 11:34 AM EST

Picks up shoulder injury

McKenzie suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday's game against the Steelers, Alaina Getzenberg of reports.

Analysis: McKenzie returned the opening kickoff 75 yards to set up the Bills at the Steelers' 24-yard line. After going up 3-0, Buffalo forced a punt on Pittsburgh's first possession, which resulted in a McKenzie fair catch. He promptly went to the sideline tent and then to the locker room without a jersey or pads, per Getzenberg. Now deemed questionable to return, it'll be interesting to see who the Bills entrust to return kicks as long as McKenzie is sidelined.

Sep 12, 2021 10:29 AM EST

Ready for Week 10

McKenzie (shoulder) was listed as a full participant for the third straight day Friday and does not have an injury designation for Sunday's opener against the Steelers.

Analysis: McKenzie's status was never really in doubt, and he appears primed to serve as the team's main return man against Pittsburgh. His ability to take the field may prove more important if starting wideout Emmanuel Sanders (foot) is limited or unable to suit up.

Sep 10, 2021 2:42 PM EST

Ready for Week 1

McKenzie (shoulder) was listed as a limited practice participant Wednesday.

Analysis: Go Go Gadget should be a full go-go for the Week 1 matchup against the Steelers, where he'll serve as the team's top return man and utility option in certain offensive formations.

Sep 8, 2021 12:53 PM EST

On track for Week 1

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said Tuesday that he expects McKenzie (shoulder) to be a "full go" for Sunday's season opener versus Pittsburgh, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: With that in mind, McKenzie looks on track to turn in three full practices Wednesday through Friday, which should erase any concerns about the health of the shoulder he injured in an Aug. 24 workout. McKenzie is expected to fill a depth role in Buffalo's wideout corps while also serving as the team's top option in the return game.

Sep 7, 2021 9:29 AM EST

Gearing up for Week 1

McKenzie was back at practice Wednesday after missing time with a shoulder injury, Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reports.

Analysis: McKenzie enters the season as the team's clear top return man. With fellow speedster Marquez Stevenson on IR with a head injury, McKenzie's ability to suit up for at least the first three weeks of the season takes on added importance for the Bills. Based on Wednesday's development, it doesn't sound like that's going to be an issue.

Sep 1, 2021 10:49 PM EST

Still hurting

McKenzie, who remains out after suffering a shoulder injury Tuesday, is in-between day-to-day and week-to-week in terms of when he will return, coach Sean McDermott told Maddy Glab of the Bills' official site.

Analysis: McKenzie also picked up a fine this week for reportedly not wearing his mask in designated areas around the team, so it's been a rough stretch for the Bills' key utility guy. While McKenzie's status is iffy for the team's preseason finale Saturday, he does have two-plus weeks to heal up for the opener against Pittsburgh. He currently slots in as the Bills' No. 5 receiver and top return man.

Aug 26, 2021 5:00 PM EST

Injured during Tuesday's practice

McKenzie suffered a shoulder injury during Tuesday's practice and will have an MRI to determine the severity, Sal Capaccio of WGR Sports Radio 550 Buffalo reports.

Analysis: McKenzie had been sitting pretty to secure the No. 5 receiver spot, so the injury could complicate things for the Bills. If it is something that sidelines the veteran, the team would also need to move down the list to find a return man as well, as McKenzie had been deemed the team's top guy to return kicks.

Aug 24, 2021 3:52 PM EST

Big game in one-sided win

McKenzie caught seven of eight targets for 72 yards while rushing once for four yards in Saturday's preseason win over the Bears.

Analysis: McKenzie also returned three punts fo 51 yards. He's got the top return job pretty much sealed up, but he's slowly proven himself in the passing game during his Bills tenure, and a big outing like Saturday could keep him involved offensively when the regular season begins. McKenzie can provide value in leagues that allow you to count offensive stats and return yardage for the same player. He's almost certain to open the season as Buffalo's No. 5 receiver, and he's continued to look like a guy that would be able to fill Cole Beasley's role in the slot should anything ever happen to the latter.

Aug 23, 2021 10:14 PM EST

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