The Bills wrap up their last week of training camp and getting ready for the their big preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are some key storylines from the practices post-Steelers game.
1) Cordy Glenn is back!!!!!
Cordy Glenn who has been out so far in practice due to an undisclosed illness is back and playing with the starters. This is great news as their best player on offense is back. The good news is now Seantrel Henderson has moved to the right side of the line where he more than likely will start the season as the starting right tackle. The loser in that event is Cyrus Kuoandjio who looks like he has all the talent but his technique is bad and he has not looked good so far which means this will be a redshirt year for him.
In other news there has been some more shuffling of the line. With Chris Williams back and Cordy back, Coach Doug Marrone has moved Erik Pears over to Right Guard and tried him there in the last two practices. This could spell potential bad news of Kraig Ubrik who might either get cut or be a backup. It really looks like Marrone is not satisfied with that right guard position and wants to get anyone that is potentially better than Ubrik. It would not surprise me if Pears wins the job considering he is the type of lineman Marrone wants. It will be interesting what line the Bills use in the Bucs game as that will give us the best idea who the starting 5 is (hopefully not Doug Legursky)
2) Injuries, Injuries everywhere
The biggest injury is to Leodis McKelvin who is getting back to things after recovering from offseason hip surgery left practice on Wednesday with a groin injury which spells doubt of if he will play on Saturday. Other injuries are Sammy Watkins who suffered a rib injury on a questionable hit by Ryan Shazier in the preseason game last Saturday. He has been practicing on the side but it is doubtful he plays. Tony Moeaki who the Bills hoped to give them that dynamic Tight End they lacked has still been recovering from injury and his future is in doubt. Marquise Goodwin has also been out with a hamstring injury. The worst news came when Stevenson Sylvester, who looked to be a core Special Teamer that the Bills desperately needed, was placed on Injured Reserve with a Torn Patella. Injuries are common and hopefully the Bills get the injury bug out of the way before the regular season starts.
3) TJ Graham’s Last Stand and Other Notes
TJ Graham has been on the bubble the whole offseason after a disappointing 2nd season. He was considered to be in a three way battle for the final WR spot against Kevin Elliot and Marcus Easley. Elliot was released on Tuesday which means it is now a battle between Easley, the special team superstar, and Graham, the dynamic WR who hopefully takes the next leap. Graham took advantage of the Watkins injury and played with the 1st team where an actual QB was throwing him the ball. He was targeted once and he made the most of it with a 16 yard gain where he was able to gain some yards after the catch. Now with Watkins out and Goodwin struggling to stay healthy, Graham has his last chance to make a play for that last WR spot in the 4th preseason game against the Bucs.
Thad Lewis has been having an awful couple of days starting with the last preseason game where he got the dreaded 0 passer rating. He has been relegated behind Jeff Tuel and has not really made the most of his opportunities. He might be cut if he doesn’t show anything which is saying something because Jeff Tuel has looked pretty bad too.
Frank “The Tank” Summers looks to be the starting fullback for the Bills but Evan Rodriguez might win the H-back role for the Bills. With Moeaki unable to stay healthy and Chris Gragg not showing much, Rodriguez might just make the team due to his special teams play and that he is a versatile player.
EJ Manuel has been dominating practice so far. On Monday’s practice he finished 17-20 followed 15-15 on Tuesday and 11-15 on Wednesday.. After a solid game against the Steelers he looks to finally taking that next step people want him to take. But of course, we talking about practice.
The biggest event to happen on Wednesday was a big scuffle started by Bryan Johnson and involved Chris Williams, Scott Chandler and Eric Wood. After hitting each other with pads for 20 practices, something like this was going to happen.
Finally for the best news, Jim Kelly was declared cancer free by doctors on Wednesday. Excellent news indeed!