Bills’ Sean McDermott says Dion Dawkins has a ‘long road’ ahead after hospitalization due to COVID-19

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills activated starting left tackle Dion Dawkins last week after he started training camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. While this was a great development, Dawkins apparently has a ways to go before he’s back in shape.

Dawkins returned to the practice field on Sunday — a session which was described as just a “jog through” according to Heather Prusak of News 4 Buffalo. Still, head coach Sean McDermott says he has a “long road” ahead before he’s ready to suit up. 

“He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us so he’s got a long road here,” McDermott said on Sunday, per News 4 Buffalo.

“He’s gonna control what he can control and so are we and he’s gotta continue to work hard to get himself back. I mean this is going on Week 4 of training camp at this point so he’s missed a lot of time.”

Dawkins unfortunately suffered through a very tough bout with COVID-19. On Tuesday, he revealed he was in the hospital for four days and was in a very emotional state during that time.

“I don’t want to scare anybody, but there were moments where I was like ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make this,'” Dawkins said.

“Life can be over before you know it.” 

Dawkins lost roughly 16 pounds, according to ESPN. With him out of the Bills’ first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, rookie Spencer Brown started in his place, and will likely continue to do so.

Dawkins was drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Temple, and took over as Buffalo’s starting left tackle in his rookie season. He’s been a consistent presence on the offensive front, as he has started all 16 games over the last three seasons and signed a big, four-year extension last offseason. Thankfully, Dawkins has a few weeks before the Bills play any meaningful football, but how quickly he is able to ramp up to full speed will be something to watch. 

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