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Buffalo Bills training camp competition updates

Resetting some of the competitions going on during training camp

Heading into the Buffalo Bills’ first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts this Thursday, August 8th, it’s worth pausing to take a snapshot on where things stand with some of the roster battles going on at St. John Fisher. There have been seven practices so far, in addition to Friday night’s ‘Return of the Blue and Red’ scrimmage session, and while there’s been some movement along the offensive line and wide receiver corps, some battles have stayed largely the same since OTAs. Below are four updates on where the most exciting competitions currently stand.

Injuries press pause at right guard

It looks like both veteran Quinton Spain and rookie Cody Ford have mostly locked down their respective positions at left guard and right tackle respectively, so the only real contest along the offensive line is at right guard. Jon Feliciano and Spencer Long have been the combatants there and have alternated starts. At this point, there hasn’t been much word on who’s stood out more and now both Long and Feliciano appear to be hobbled by injury. Long has been battling knee soreness that held him out on Friday and Feliciano left the scrimmage early with trainers in tow. Complicating matters is one of them could be in line to replace Mitch Morse who is out with a concussion.

Sophomore wide receivers impress

Four wide receivers are already locked in place, with a fifth (Andre Roberts) assuredly in the team’s plans. That has led to a fierce competition for what may be the final wideout slot. Second-year player Ray-Ray McCloud III was the first player to take advantage of his opportunity, with coach Sean McDermott even going out of his way to praise how much separation he’s been getting. A late entry, though, has been another second-year player in Cam Phillips. The former undrafted free agent has stood out thanks to his strong hands in red-zone work for the past couple of practices and in Friday’s scrimmage. Fan favorites Duke Williams and David Sills V haven’t been able to earn nearly as much praise, but perhaps things will change after Thursday’s preseason game.

Wallace fends off challengers at corner

After a cornucopia of positive press during OTAs and minicamp, it was predicated that free agent Kevin Johnson might unseat Levi Wallace as the starting cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White. That prediction hasn’t come to pass however, as Wallace hasn’t let go of the number two spot for more than a session. What might cause some movement however, is Johnson’s ball-skills and Wallace lack-thereof. Wallace has been called out by several observers as having dropped a few potential interceptions in practice settings. Meanwhile, E.J. Gaines has played well with the second-team, but hasn’t made the jump to the first team.

Love earning some affection

Similar to the wide receiver position, there’s really only one defensive end position up for grabs and 2018 undrafted free agent Mike Love has staked his claim for the final spot. Love brings much more burst off-the-line than a player like Eddie Yarbrough, and that athleticism has allowed him to defeat Ty Nsekhe and Dion Dawkins in drills. Yarbrough and rookie Darryl Johnson will need to have a stellar preseason if they want to keep up the pace with Love.