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Buffalo Bills snap count notes from preseason game against Baltimore Ravens

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It took an injury to Tyrod Taylor, but Nate Peterman did get to play with the starters on Saturday

The Buffalo Bills lost their third game of the preseason on Saturday, dropping a 13-9 decision to the Baltimore Ravens. There were a few roster battles that played out, while one key injury led to a much-discussed rookie seeing plenty of action with the starters.

Quarterback

Nathan Peterman - 40
T.J. Yates - 29
Tyrod Taylor - 8

With Taylor’s early injury, Peterman saw significant playing time with the starters in an up-and-down performance. Taylor was struggling prior to his concussion, and Yates was largely ineffective. With both Taylor and Yates in the concussion protocol, it’s likely that we’ll see a cameo appearance from a new quarterback on this for the preseason finale.

Running Back

LeSean McCoy - 30
Joe Banyard - 27
Mike Tolbert - 16
Patrick DiMarco - 8
Taiwan Jones - 2
Jonathan Williams - 2

McCoy didn’t do very much in his most extensive action of the preseason. Banyard led the Bills with 25 yards on the ground while also seeing 15 special teams snaps. He’s likely locked into competition with Jones for a roster spot; Jones has been playing the prominent role of gunner on punt coverage, but he hasn’t been very effective as a tackler. Williams was recovering from a hamstring injury, which is why he was limited to two snaps and no carries.

Wide Receiver

Andre Holmes - 47
Zay Jones - 45
Brandon Tate - 30
Brandon Reilly - 25
Corey Brown - 25

Despite the team-high in snaps, Holmes only caught one pass for nine yards. The quarterbacks didn’t do him any favors, but he wasn’t very good regardless. He did miss practice on Sunday with neck spasms, but it’s hard to say if that factored into his performance at all. Jones continued his strong preseason and might be the Bills’ best receiver at this point. Reilly had a great sideline catch to convert a fourth down, but fumbled the ball on the next play; it’s hard to say what his status is right now. Dezmin Lewis was notably down to four snaps, and is almost certain to be playing his final game in a Bills uniform on Thursday.

Tight End

Charles Clay - 37
Nick O’Leary - 32
Logan Thomas - 27
Wes Saxton - 5

Apologies to Saxton, but this is probably the clearest picture the Bills have on the depth chart right now. Clay, who caught four passes for 47 yards and an 18-yarder that was called back for an illegal formation, is the starter. O’Leary is the backup, and Thomas will make the roster as the third tight end.

Offensive Tackle

Jordan Mills - 48
Dion Dawkins - 48
Seantrel Henderson - 29
Michael Ola - 29

Dawkins earned the start over Henderson this week, and responded with a poor performance that included allowing the sack where Taylor was concussed. He also had the penalty that negated Clay’s first-down catch. This remains a real pain point for the Bills, and will only worsen if Cordy Glenn misses significant time in the regular season.

Interior Offensive Line

Richie Incognito - 48
Eric Wood - 48
Vlad Ducasse - 43
John Miller - 34
Ryan Groy - 29
Jordan Mudge - 29

The two guys at the top had very different days on Saturday: Wood signed a two-year extension, while Incognito took two holding penalties. Ducasse continued to play himself off the roster, while Groy continued to remind people why the Los Angeles Rams targeted him to start in restricted free agency with a very strong game in reserve.

Defensive Line

Jerry Hughes - 29
Shaq Lawson - 28
Kyle Williams - 27
Adolphus Washington - 26
Eddie Yarbrough - 24
Jerel Worthy - 24

Marcell Dareus was held out of the game for a rules violation, which is a whole story entirely. Washington suffered an early injury, but returned for some limited action before giving way to the reserves. Ryan Davis played 18 snaps and should make the roster.

Linebacker

Preston Brown - 40
Ramon Humber - 39
Lorenzo Alexander - 33
Matt Milano - 23
Gerald Hodges - 23

Brown had a very strong game and locked down his starting middle linebacker job, not that it was in jeopardy. Milano hasn’t looked very good with the Bills, but Tanner Vallejo has a nagging knee injury that could keep him off the roster. Reggie Ragland played 17 snaps against the Ravens; 14 were on special teams. The only question is whether or not the Bills can trade him for a pick if they don’t release him outright.

Cornerback

Tre’Davious White - 40
E.J. Gaines - 34
Greg Mabin - 33
Shareece Wright - 25
Leonard Johnson - 14

Even if it was against a trio of Ryan Mallet, Josh Woodrum, and Thad Lewis at quarterback, the secondary as a whole played very well on Saturday. Wright and Gaines split time at right cornerback early on, with Wright starting but Gaines playing the most. He also saw time at safety in the fourth quarter. Kevon Seymour was injured and didn’t dress last night, but should still make the roster. Mabin is likely going to be the victim of a numbers game, but should be a practice squad priority if there isn’t any room for him on the depth chart.

Safety

Jordan Poyer - 40
Micah Hyde - 40
Shamiel Gary - 26
Bacarri Rambo - 26

Neither Trae Elston nor Colt Anderson dressed for this game, while Joe Powell and B.T. Sanders played but didn’t see any snaps with the defense. The top four guys are safe bets for the final roster, with Gary filling Anderson’s role as a core special teams player. Of the four players I mentioned in the first sentence, no more than one will make the final roster, and if they all struggle against the Detroit Lions on Thursday they might all miss the boat.