One of the Buffalo Bills’ incoming free agents won’t be available at the start of training camp due to a car accident. Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold suffered a ribs injury recently, and will begin the summer on the Non Football Injury list, according to Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
In the offseason, Saffold signed a one-year, $6.25 million contract with the Bills. He’s been projected as the team’s starting left guard since joining the roster. With Saffold sidelined, the Bills will show an early indication of their contingency plan on the offensive line. Ryan Bates was projected to start at right guard, after signing a four-year offer sheet with the Bills in the offseason. But Bates played left guard last year, so the team could opt to slide him over or leave him on the right side.
From there it brings up a question of the next man up. Ike Boettger, who tore his Achilles tendon last season, started the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The other candidates to move into the lineup are Cody Ford, free-agent signings Greg Mancz and Greg Van Roten, and young recent draft picks like Tommy Doyle and Luke Tenuta.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the severity of Saffold’s injury was, exactly. All we know for now is that he’ll be missing the first day of practice. McDermott added that he’s confident Saffold will return “in due time.”