When the Buffalo Bills moved up in round two of the 2017 NFL Draft to select offensive lineman Dion Dawkins, many of us assumed that the selection was meant as an eventual replacement for right tackle Jordan Mills. With Cordy Glenn’s foot injury remaining a lingering concern, however, Dawkins has begun to take reps on the left side of the line.
Initially, Dawkins was relegated exclusively to the right tackle spot, with veteran Seantrel Henderson taking most of the work at left tackle in Glenn’s absence. While that setup works in theory, the fact remains that Henderson is suspended for the first five games of the 2017 season for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. If Glenn is unable to play in the opener, Henderson definitely cannot replace him, so working Dawkins on the left side makes sense.
The level of concern regarding Glenn’s injury has grown considerably since camp started. Head coach Sean McDermott characterized the issue as “concerning” a few weeks ago, but Glenn was able to fight through and appear in most practices. After the offensive line’s struggles without Glenn against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, those concerns have only continued to grow.
Dawkins played left tackle during OTAs in the spring, which was the main reason McDermott said that he was not playing there to begin training camp; since he already had “a foundation” on the left side, the coaching staff wanted to make sure he had enough work on the side he’d most likely play when the regular season begins. However, those plans may need to take a back seat to the necessity of ensuring that the team’s best five offensive lineman (sans Glenn, of course) can take the field if Cordy is unable to play to begin the season.