The 2019 preseason concluded on Thursday night and teams will begin whittling down their rosters from near 90 players to the final 53-man rosters with ten-player practice squads to follow the waiver wire window.
A handful of Buffalo Bills improved their chances of being on an NFL roster on Thursday night. While it might not be on Buffalo’s 53-man roster, here are the players who balled out.
WR Robert Foster
I’ll admit, I had thoughts that Robert Foster wouldn’t make this football team. His snaps had been dropping and he had been blending in and falling down the depth chart. On Thursday night we saw the culmination of a roster push from Foster I wasn’t expecting when he made a big tackle as a punt gunner. He’s not going to make the roster based on that one play, but his WR experience coupled with his new special teams work should be enough to help him stick.
DE Eddie Yarbrough
Darryl Johnson and Mike Love passed Yarbrough through training camp and it looked like the former preseason darling was going to be on the outside looking in. Then Buffalo placed Love on injured reserve and the door to a spot creaked back open. On Thursday night, Yarbrough was a mad man and may have sewn up a roster spot on the back end as the new fifth defensive end.
CB Lafeyette Pitts
Splash plays don’t hurt roster chances, and an interception from Pitts may have been enough on defense to go along with his special teams ability to stay on the roster. He doesn’t have practice squad eligibility, so it’s all or nothing for Pitts.
QB Tyree Jackson
Jackson still won’t make the team and we saw his limitations on Thursday night, but leading a big comeback isn’t nothing. Leading three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, he was remarkable. He didn’t play his way onto the roster, but he solidified his spot on a practice squad somewhere.
RB Marcus Murphy
Murphy isn’t going to make the Bills’ roster, and he was probably going to be claimed off waivers anyway, but his big punt return and 37 combined receiving and rushing yards won’t hurt his chances of being picked up this weekend.
K Chase McLaughlin
I admit, I had been touting McLaughlin as a guy that could beat out Stephen Hauschka before training camp. As it became clear the elder kicker was indeed healthy again, the UDFA rookie was never really a threat and then Buffalo sealed the deal with a contract extension for Hauschka. While McLuaghlin didn’t play his way onto Buffalo’s roster, he could still be on the field in Week 1 in the Meadowlands. The New York Jets are among a handful of NFL teams looking for kickers and a 54-yard field goal and three extra points is going to draw attention.
Honorable mentions: WR Ray-Ray McCloud, LB Tyrel Dodson