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Who we didn’t see in Preseason Week 1: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

Who got the scratch on opening night?

While the preseason is intended to get the team warmed up and take a look at players, that doesn’t mean we see the whole roster take the field. This was especially true for the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. While the Colts didn’t play ten members of their roster, Buffalo deliberately sat 33 players—more a third of their roster. Let’s take a look at who and the possible reasons of why.

Put ‘em in bubble wrap!

As an aside, there’ll be some players who might fit more than one category. Our first list is the players too valuable to risk in games that don’t count. Note that this group is essentially an elevated version of our next tier. These are players who, if injured, are highly likely to significantly impact the season.

  • Josh Allen
  • Stefon Diggs
  • Von Miller
  • Micah Hyde
  • Tremaine Edmunds
  • Matt Milano
  • Mitch Morse
  • Dion Dawkins
  • Dawson Knox
  • Ed Oliver

We know what we have here

This group is reserved for players where I believe the team knows what they have in each player. For this particular game, there’s a bit of bubble wrap treatment here too for some of these guys. I don’t personally think there’s as high of a chance of the season derailing if someone is hurt here, which is the more precise cutoff between the tiers.

  • Isaiah McKenzie
  • Gabriel Davis
  • Devin Singletary
  • Ryan Bates
  • Spencer Brown
  • David Quessenberry
  • Greg Mancz
  • DaQuan Jones
  • Greg Rousseau
  • Taron Johnson
  • Dane Jackson
  • Jordan Phillips
  • Eli Ankou
  • Tyler Matakevich
  • Tavon Austin
  • Taiwan Jones
  • Siran Neal


This group is pretty self-explanatory. But if you want one anyway, these guys are recovering from injury.

  • Tre’Davious White (PUP)
  • Jordan Poyer
  • Rodger Saffold
  • Marquez Stevenson
  • Ike Boettger (PUP)
  • Tyrel Dodson

Skare’s guess

Aside from the specialists, the list of players I’d consider a starter contains one name. I believe Kaiir Elam will start some games this year and I don’t think this is a controversial opinion. A few significant rotational guys played in the game. This includes Zack Moss, Boogie Basham, A.J. Epenesa, Reggie Gilliam, Tommy Sweeney, and Shaq Lawson.

This is an article on who didn’t play though, so I’ll leave my theories on the list above aside for now. Buffalo appeared to have a concerted effort to use this as an opportunity to really put their depth to the test. With the talent level of the current roster, the last few spots on the 53 are going to be agonizing decisions and to me this looks like an attempt to figure that out to the best of their ability.