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Buffalo Bills promoted Davis Webb to active roster as reward for practice play

Even though they made him inactive for the game.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

On Monday, the Buffalo Bills called up quarterback Davis Webb to the active roster from the practice squad using the COVID-19 rules. Then they made him inactive for the game. It was a strange move from the outside—why elevate him to not play him? Head coach Sean McDermott explained why earlier this week.

“I think he’s done a phenomenal job, he really has,” McDermott said. “I don’t think I’ve been around a guy that’s added value in so many ways to a team in a role that he has on the field, which is to say in terms of not being a starter.”

Webb has been on Buffalo’s practice squad all year as the team’s third quarterback. Rookie Jake Fromm has been isolated from the QB room in order to avoid COVID-19 close contacts, so it’s been Webb in the room with Josh Allen and Matt Barkley. The former third-round pick is adding value in that capacity.

“He’s one of the best teammates that I’ve ever seen,” offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said. “He’ll work on special teams if he needs to work on special teams, he’ll work on the defensive show team. He does an unbelievable job of helping Josh prepare for games. He spends a lot of time with [assistant quarterbacks coach] Shea [Tierney] and going through the team we’re about to play. He just has his hands in so many different things for us. He’s such a valuable part to our team.”

Webb was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but when Ben McAdoo was fired, Webb was released prior to the 2018 season. He landed with the New York Jets’ practice squad before being promoted to the active roster when Sam Darnold was injured. He was released during the final roster cuts in 2019 and signed with the Bills’ practice squad where he has remained.

He’s currently on a one-year deal.