A padless practice under the lights at St. John Fisher was the final tuneup before Buffalo hosts the New York Giants at
Ralph Wilson Stadium New Era Field on Saturday. As last week’s pad-free night practice showed, there doesn’t have to be any live hitting for there to be an injury on this team, and tonight was no different. Marcell Dareus left practice and was spotted with a large bandage and ice pack on his right elbow afterward. There was no immediate indication as to the severity of the injury, but he did return to practice. What else went down during the night session? Here’s what’s trending.
- Tyrod’s roller-coaster day: Vic Carucci’s report said it best—Taylor made some great throws, including a beautiful fade to Reggie Bush (who had lined up in the slot on the play) for a TD but was also intercepted on back-to-back plays (by Corey Graham and Ronald Darby). He threw touchdowns to Marquise Goodwin and Nick O’Leary in red zone work, ran for a score, and also executed a read-option to perfection, allowing LeSean McCoy to score. Matthew Fairburn’s report was less positive regarding Taylor, noting only his struggles, but it would appear the good outweighed the bad.
- Boykin can ball: Jarrett Boykin had his strongest day of camp, adding to his solid performance in the preseason match-up against the Colts. He made a few great catches, including this one on a beautiful touch pass from Taylor. He stole a sure-fire interception from Jonathon Dowling on another deep ball, showing his ability to win in traffic. With so many others in the “race for WR3,” every moment counts, and Boykin has been making the most of them of late.
- Participation down: It was a light day for many on the roster, with multiple players participating either in light work or no work at all. Sal Capaccio noted that the list included Sammy Watkins, Charles Clay, Kevon Seymour, and Lorenzo Alexander. Richie Incognito did not practice and is not expected to play Saturday, but he did work out on the side once again.
- Screen game continues to be a major focus: Capaccio also noted that the offense once again took a long time installing screen plays, and they also focused on working the middle of the field. Taylor was 2-4 on those throws. Of course, it would help to have Charles Clay available to work the middle of the field, but at least the emphasis is there.
- Jerry Hughes dominating: As our EIC noted in his recap of the game against the Colts, Hughes moved around much more than he did with Mario Williams on the roster. Moving Hughes to the left side of the defense matches him up with teams’ “weaker” tackles, and allows him to take advantage of his athleticism. Jordan Mills has been his target in practice, and Matthew Fairburn noted that today, as with most of camp, Mills has been unable to contain Hughes. A big bounce-back season from Hughes would go a long way towards helping Buffalo’s pass rush to rebound after falling from 1st to 31st in the sack category between 2014 and 2015. As a side note, Hughes’s son is pretty adorable.
- Starters will see more time: Rex Ryan noted that the starting unit will play more in this preseason game than they did in the first. How much more, however, was not disclosed. He even mentioned that it is possible Sammy Watkins will see one series with the first team. Kroy Biermann also appears set to make his Bills debut.