The Buffalo Bills close out their 2022 NFL preseason slate when they travel to face the Carolina Panthers in a 7:00 PM Eastern game Friday, August 26. This game should feature plenty of players fighting for a chance to stick with their team—either as part of the 53-man roster or the practice squad—or serve as an audition for 31 other teams in need of positional upgrades.
On Wednesday, head coach Sean McDermott said that “most” of the starters would not play in the game—including Josh Allen. McDermott wants to make sure that depth players get an opportunity to show what they can do while roster evaluations continue towards final cuts.
General manager Brandon Beane stated this week that the team is in the “50s” pertaining to players they hope to keep as part of the final roster. He added that decisions will come down to the week of practices and performances against the Panthers.
While the current depth chart could give an indication of the team’s final roster, there are still plenty of battles to decide starters and establish depth at several positions. Chief among those battles may be the competition at outside cornerback. With Tre’Davious White still rehabbing his injury, Dane Jackson and a combination of Kaiir Elam/Christian Benford could see significant starter’s snaps for a portion of the season. Running backs Duke Johnson and Raheem Blackshear have been hotly discussed among Bills Mafia, and both have performed very well in preseason action. But is there room for the team to keep either player? Do they risk showcasing Blackshear to other teams if they hope to sign him to the practice squad?
Baker Mayfield has been named the Panthers’ starting quarterback for Week 1. The move was expected with Carolina having traded to acquire Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns.