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Buffalo Bills “starting” offensive line can’t stay on the field together

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

Remember back to the beginning of training camp in 2020. Last year, the offensive line was healthy, there were multiple starting positions in competition, and the Buffalo Bills had a lot of depth to shake out, as well. Now 13 months later, the Bills still have yet to see their “Top 5” offensive linemen on the same field at the same time for more than a handful of snaps.

It started in late July of 2020, when starting guard Jon Feliciano was sidelined with a pectoral tear. He was out until late October, returning for the team’s game against the New England Patriots. While he wasn’t 100% back, the “Top 5” were together again!

A few plays into the game against the New England Patriots, center Mitch Morse suffered a concussion and left the game. Feliciano slid over to center and now two positions had backups again.

In late November, left guard Cody Ford suffered a leg injury in practice and missed the rest of the season. Morse returned for that week’s game, and the two passed each other without playing side by side in a game again.

Now that 2021 has returned, we were hoping to see the “Top 5” together again, but as training camp kicked off, left tackle Dion Dawkins tested positive for COVID-19 and has been sidelined. He is out indefinitely.

We just want to see Dion Dawkins, Cody Ford, Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano, and Daryl Williams get some snaps together. If you want to sub in Ike Boettger for Ford, that would be fine, too. Boettger also tested COVID-positive upon arrival at camp and has been out.

In 2019, the starting five of Dawkins, Quinton Spain, Morse, Feliciano, and Ford started 15 of the 16 games with rotating RT Ty Nseke filling in for Ford in the other game. They were healthy and available. Hopefully this is just a blip.

Buffalo has been able to showcase their great depth along the offensive front, but is having everyone together too much to ask?