When the Buffalo Bills welcome the Indianapolis Colts to Highmark Stadium at 4 PM Eastern Saturday to kick off their 2022 NFL preseason schedule, the team will do so without the services of at least one starter: Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen.
Before Thursday’s final practice of training camp at St. John Fisher University, head coach Sean McDermott informed the media that Allen, entering his fourth year as Buffalo’s starting QB, will be held out of the preseason opener.
“Josh is not going to play,” McDermott told the assembled members of the media.
Outside of confirming that Allen won’t play in the preseason opener, McDermott mentioned that the playing time for the rest of Buffalo’s projected starters will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
“We’re going to have a pretty intense practice today, then we’ll give our trainers and our strength and conditioning staff and myself a chance to re-evaluate where we are with each individual and what they need to do in this game, perhaps, or not in this game, based on how it looks today,” McDermott said in his press conference.
It should come as little surprise that the Bills, the preseason Super Bowl favorites according to Las Vegas, would exercise caution with their franchise quarterback,
Last year, Allen also sat out the preseason opener and played in just one preseason game, the preseason finale vs. the Green Bay Packers. He played in and started three preseason games during the 2019 season, and saw time in three games (one start) during the preseason of his 2018 rookie season.
On the injury front, McDermott said All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer, who hurt his elbow during week two of training camp, is “trending in the right direction” while not getting specific with when he might return to action.
Linebacker Tyrel Dodson (muscle soreness) won’t practice on Thursday and will be sidelined during the preseason opener, while wide receiver and return man Tavon Austin is listed as questionable for the Colts game.
On the other sideline, during a session with reporters earlier in the week, Colts head coach Frank Reich said that Matt Ryan, entering his first season as the Colts’ starting QB, will see time in the first quarter vs. the Bills.