QB, WR, TE still unsettled as Bills head into preseason finale

August 30, 2018 - 9:34 am
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Chicago, Illinois (WGR550) - The preseason finale.  A game where starters rest and reserves hope their bubbles don’t burst.  In the Buffalo Bills' case, as they get set to take on the Chicago Bears here Thursday night, there are still several roster battles yet to be decided, maybe even including the most important one - quarterback.  

Who knows?  Perhaps head coach Sean McDermott already knows who his starter will be under center week one in Baltimore.  But it sure looks like this thing is going down to the wire between Nathan Peterman, A.J. McCarron, and Josh Allen.  And if it truly is, McDermott has some interesting decisions to make in the last exhibition game.  Does he play all three and risk one or more of them getting injured?  If he doesn’t play one of them at all is that an indiction of how he’s leaning for the regular season opener?  Whatever the head coach decides to do, fans and media will certainly try to read into it any way they can, trying to break the QB code.

Not only is the quarterback competition yet to be decided, neither are the battles for spots among players they’d be throwing to.  Both wide receiver and tight end are unsettled heading into the exhibition finale.

At wideout, it appeared Rod Streater was fairly safe to make the roster after the first two games, but he didn’t get on the field until after the initial group of starters played several series’.  Those normal starters are Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Jeremy Kerley, and Andre Holmes.  

Corey Coleman not only saw playing time ahead of Streater, he was given the ball on a designed jet-sweep shuffle-pass, then also caught a screen pass later.  He may have to demonstrate he knows the playbook and offense well enough for the coaching staff to be totally confident they can use him in any situation.

Ray-Ray McCloud has been used as a punt returner, which means he probably has an advantage over the remaining group, but he’s certainly no lock to make the final 53 and has another chance to do something on offense to prove his value.

From there, Brandon Reilly, Austin Proehl, Cam Phillips, Robert Foster, Malachi Dupre, and Kaelin Clay (also used as a punt returner) are all most likely fighting uphill battles and might have to show they are valuable special teams contributors in order to stick around.

At tight end, Charles Clay is the starter.  But after him, you could list the next four in any order on a depth chart and it wouldn’t surprise me - Logan Thomas, Jason Croom, Khari Lee, and Nick O’Leary.  Keith Towbridge is probably the sixth player there and a long shot to make it.  But all of these tight ends provide something that appeals to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, whether that’s a good matchup in the passing game or an ability to block on the line.  It might simply come down to what type of tight end he and McDermott want to keep as they look at building their roster.


 

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