Important Things to Watch In The Buffalo Bills First Preseason Game
The Buffalo Bills will finally play in their first preseason game of the 2022 season. They host the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm at Highmark Stadium.
The first preseason game is always a game that features excitement from fans, which usually calms down after the first quarter or so, when we do realize this is a preseason game. The score doesn't matter but player evaluation does.
Head coach Sean McDermott said on Thursday that Josh Allen will not play in the game and judging by McDermott's last few preseasons, fans can expect hardly any starters to see time against the Colts. The ones who do play will probably only get a series or two.
The game will feature the Colts playing some starters, including newly traded for quarterback, Matt Ryan.
Ryan should play a few series since he is on the first new team of his NFL career, which has been entirely in Atlanta before this season.
As for the Bills, there are a few important things for fans and media to watch out for.
The most important will be at cornerback.
Tre'Davious White is still not practicing, still recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery towards the end of last year.
Fans should expect to see plenty of first round rookie, Kaiir Elam. He is still battling with third-year pro, Dane Jackson for the second cornerback spot, opposite of White. Taron Johnson is the solidified nickel corner.
Both Elam and Jackson should play, as will rookie 6th round pick, Christian Benford, who has impressed at training camp and should see a healthy dose of playing time on Saturday.
Another thing to watch for is rookie running back, James Cook.
Devin Singletary will likely not see much, if any, playing time. Cook and Zack Moss should get the bulk of the work in the first half, while free agent signing Duke Johnson and undrafted free agent Raheem Blackshear.
Moss is listed above Cook on the depth chart and the preseason is Cook's chance to surpass him.
The other two spots to watch for are at wide receiver and right tackle.
Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie are battling for that third WR and main slot receiver slot. McKenzie is ahead at the moment with an impressive camp.
Right tackle should be fun too. Free agent signing David Quessenberry is slated as the starter on the first depth chart of the month, while last year's starter and second-year pro, Spencer Brown is the backup.
Brown will have to prove himself to the coaching staff to earn back his starting right tackle spot. Quessenberry is sure and steady and while not a world-beater in domination, he's about as technically sound as they came; and can play guard and tackle.
One last thing is the punter battle.
Matt Haack and rookie 6th round pick Matt Araiza are hoping to be the team's full-time punter for 2022. Araiza has been solid holding on field goals for kicker Tyler Bass, which many believe is the ultimate factor in who will stay and who will be released.
Kickoff is at 4 pm on Saturday.