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Buffalo Bills start Cody Ford, rotate Ike Boettger at right guard in season opener

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

Well, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott was close to the vest when naming his starting offensive line this offseason. Even after the team’s final preseason game and training camp wrapped up, he refused to name the starting five. Then he went the way most people were expecting.

Left tackle Dion Dawkins, center Mitch Morse, and right tackle Daryl Williams were locks. Left guard Jon Feliciano was a near-certainty following the preseason, but Cody Ford and Ike Boettger received equal playing time in the preseason finale at right guard. So which would take the first snap of the regular season?

To no one’s surprise, it’s Ford, the 2019 second-round pick, who get’s the nod to start the game. The Bills’ heavy investment in Ford was enough to tip the scales in an even contest with Boettger. Essentially, Buffalo invested that much in him and they need to give him a shot to lock it down.

But that’s not it! After two series, the Bills moved Boettger in to the right guard and put Ford on the bench. Boettger received two series at right guard before returning to the sidelines for the duration of the game.

The line with Ford was supposed to be the starting offensive line in 2020, but injuries derailed that option. Feliciano went down during training camp, Ford got hurt, and Morse was out for multiple weeks. They never played a single snap as a group of five last year and didn’t get to until Week 3 of the 2021 preseason.

Let’s see if they’ve had enough time to gel, even though they continue rotating.