The Buffalo Bills are preparing for both Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick for this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins. Rosen had been named the starter by Dolphins coach Brian Flores “for the next 12 games”, but the second-year player was replaced by the veteran during last week’s game.
Update: Flores announced Wednesday morning that Fitzpatrick would start against Buffalo.
After benching Rosen, Fitzpatrick led Miami on a furious comeback. The Dolphins trailed 17-3 entering the fourth quarter when Fitzpatrick, the former Bills starting QB, entered the game and led a touchdown drive. With six seconds remaining, he threw a touchdown pass but the Dolphins failed to convert on their two-point attempt and they lost 17-16.
Flores told reporters after the game that he went with Fitzpatrick to give the team a “spark”, something that will also be on the table against the Bills’ potent defense.
Rosen, for his part, was battered and seeing ghosts. He was sacked four times in the first quarter and once more in the second, leading his yards per attempt to plummet as he took quick passes and pre-determined throws. Ultimately, he finished with 3.4 yards per attempt on 25 passes and two interceptions.
“You look at what happened yesterday and they made a switch again,” said Bills’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Monday. “So, we’ll definitely watch tape on both quarterbacks and try to be prepared for whichever one they decide to start and if they do decide to switch in the course of the game, hopefully we’ll be prepared for that as well. But we’re definitely gonna watch tape on their quarterbacks and get a feel for each one of them.”
Lorenzo Alexander gave a little more background on how teams prepare for the possibility of two different quarterbacks during practice.
“The foundation of what they’re doing schematically is always the same, it’s not going to change drastically,” Alexander said. “They’re not that much different quarterbacks to you’ll get one guy who runs the option and one drops back, they’re very similar. Obviously, Fitz has more experience so he could probably do some more things like moving safeties and Rosen being a younger guy isn’t as polished. We’re going to look at them as what they’ve done over the first six games of the season and break them down and execute our game plan.”
The Bills are tied for 13th in the NFL with five interceptions and sit 15th in turnover percentage. This could be a week where they take advantage of a struggling team to boost those numbers.