The Buffalo Bills held their first and only 2017 training camp practice at New Era Field tonight. Practice opened up with a special guest and a new player added to the roster for the day: running back Garett Rumfola from Stone’s Buddies of Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo scored the first touchdown of 2017 in Orchard Park. Such an authentic feel good moment for the young man was a great way to kick off practice.
DE Shaq Lawson suffered a groin injury; hopefully it isn’t anything too serious, as expectations are high for him this year. This type of injury, depending on the severity, could make him miss some time - and Thursday’s preseason game might be missed as a precaution. After practice, Lawson was quick to say that the injury is, “nothing serious.”
DE Ryan Davis suffered a concussion and TE Keith Towbridge suffered an ankle injury that received an x-ray. For a second day in a row, Micah Hyde and Cordy Glenn were non-participants, but the good news for Glenn is that he wasn’t in a walking boot. That said, the news out of head coach Sean McDermott was less than encouraging, with the coach being unwilling to rule out surgery as an option for Glenn’s ailing foot.
If Glenn’s injury were to keep him sidelined, for the time being Seantrel Henderson will most likely take his place. Henderson, however, is suspended for the first 5 games of the season. If the injury takes Glenn up to missing regular season games, Dion Dawkins will most likely have to step in, like he did during OTAs.
Defense dominates the practice
The defense looked good today. They stopped the offense multiple times at the goal line and came away with a couple of turnovers forced by Gerald Hodges and Joe Powell. Eddie Yarbrough made another statement as he recorded a sack against the first-team offense. The coaches began mixing some surprises into their scheme at practice today, as rookie first-round pick Tre’Davious White lined up as the deep safety. The defense has looked sharp all camp and players have been comfortable with their individual assignments.
Quarterbacks not named Tyrod Taylor stuggle
Tyrod looked sharp for the most part in 11-on-11 today, leading the offense on an 11-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a missed 43-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka. Tyrod opened up camp hitting on his deep ball to Rashad Ross for a touchdown. Taylor was also able to connect with Charles Clay and Sammy Watkins on the 11-play drive. The pass to Clay was down the seam.
Unfortunately for T.J. Yates and Nathan Peterman, practice didn’t go so well. In goal line work, Yates threw a pick over the middle to linebacker Gerald Hodges and Peterman threw a pick to end the practice to defensive back Joe Powell. These two haven’t exactly had the best campaign this camp as they face the second- and third-team defenses.
Another position battle emerges
Adolphus Washington has seemingly lost the third defensive tackle spot. Jerel Worthy continues to build off of his 2016 season and is moving up the depth charts. If Washington wants to further his role with this team he will have to improve.
Gerald Hodges and Eddie Yarbrough continue to excel
Hodges works with the second-team defense most of the time, but could a role with the first-team be forthcoming? Hodges has worked his way up the depth chart, picking up the playbook well as a late addition to the roster. His coverage abilities have been strong, including the interception he earned today in goal line work. Yarbrough finally got his hands on Taylor. Yarbrough has made a name for himself so far and today he is once again being talked about.
Colton Schmidt and Austin Rehkow keep battling
The punters continue to battle it out for the only spot on the team. Schmidt is trying to hold onto a tenuous starting role after a down year of punting against the undrafted free agent out of Idaho. In today’s practice, Rehkow and Schmidt pinned their fair share of punts inside the 10 yard line. Rehkow stood out as he had a collection inside the 10 yard line and even showed off the ability to put some backspin on the ball.