13-year veteran Derek Anderson will start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, head coach Sean McDermott announced at his Wednesday press conference. Josh Allen’s injury and Nate Peterman’s awful performances catapulted the recently-signed veteran into the starting role within a week of his signing.
Allen remains week-to-week with an elbow sprain, and will not practice on Wednesday. After receiving a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Allen and the Bills decided he shouldn’t plan for surgery, but will still miss several weeks resting and rehabbing the arm.
McDermott noted Anderson’s leadership and presence in setting him up as the starter (those intangible qualities were originally why Anderson earned positive reviews as a mentor for Allen). Saying that Peterman’s performance was “always part of the decision,” McDermott noted that starting Anderson was “the best decision for our team right now.” He remarked on Anderson understanding the playbook, noting that he and Brian Daboll had worked together in Cleveland in 2009. (That Anderson completed 45 percent of his passes in that season, for 4.9 yards per attempt, with 3 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, was glossed over.)
Now the Bills will begin a new stage of Allen’s career - having him sit on the bench and absorb the way a veteran QB prepares for each game, without the impact of losing his starting job. That stage will begin as Buffalo takes on the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.