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“All options are on the table” for Buffalo Bills starting quarterback

Josh Allen? Injured. Nate Peterman? Intercepted. Derek Anderson? Learning the playbook.

Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen is week-to-week with an elbow injury, and the starter for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts is anyone’s guess. Literally anyone, as head coach Sean McDermott didn’t commit to any player for starting, saying “all options are on the table”.

In regards to Allen, who took an MRI scan on the elbow he injured when Jadeveon Clowney ran into it, the rookie passer is probably a long shot to play on Sunday. Most of the time, when McDermott uses the phrase “week-to-week,” a player will miss at least one game in recovery. Given that Allen’s only a third of the way through his rookie season, it’s hard to imagine the team starting him without a full week of prep on the practice field. If his pain and swelling reduces between now and Wednesday, things might change.

On Peterman, McDermott was challenged by reporters to explain his confidence in the embattled young quarterback. Saying “I understand where you’re coming from on that,” McDermott praised Peterman’s early performance and his touchdown to Zay Jones, but said the second half (of his play) was “unacceptable”. That McDermott did not immediately send a message of “Nathan’s our backup and he’s the next man up” suggests that the Bills coach is feeling the heat from Peterman’s awful clutch performance.

The question for Anderson starting on Sunday will obviously center on preparation. A consumate professional, Anderson understands the week-to-week grind of the NFL, but has only a handful of starts since his season as Cleveland’s starter in 2007. He just joined the roster, and both McDermott and Brian Daboll noted that Anderson is studying the offense and trying to acclimate as quickly as he can.

Practice reps suddenly take on a major importance in preparation for the match against the Indianapolis Colts, with Allen’s availability and an Anderson-Peterman pecking order to sort out before Sunday.