We’ve made it to August through Week 2 of Buffalo Bills training camp. The battles for roster position are heating up, along with the temperatures, and sparks are flying as fights have broken out in nearly every one of the padded practices so far.
The Buffalo Bills have briefly left St. John Fisher University to head home to Orchard Park for the weekend. Before they can kick back with the fam (or anyone else) for a rest day, there is one more task at hand. It’s time for the Return of the Blue and Red scrimmage at Highmark Stadium.
More than 70,000 tickets have been distributed for this free event, and we expect a loud and rambunctious group at the stadium well in advance of the scrimmage. Plan your travel accordingly.
Practice starts at 5:30 PM with gates opening at 4:00 PM. Tickets are sold out.
Parking is free in the official Bills lots for this event, but lots don’t open until 3:00 PM. If you want to get there early for some communal activities, I’m sure many of the private lots will be open. Just like on game days, Abbot Road will be closed.
Here are the biggest storylines so far in camp:
- We used the off day on Wednesday to round up all the players who have missed time with injuries during Bills camp. The list is extensive and contains 15 players. Read the whole thing here. The only new long-term injury during camp is Marquez Stevenson, whose foot injury will keep him out through the season opener. They did get two members of the team back in pads Thursday.
- S Jordan Poyer left practice on Tuesday with a hyperextended elbow and will miss a few weeks of camp. He should be ready for the season. His running mate, Micah Hyde, went down and was carted off with an injury on Friday. McDermott said he is day to day with hip soreness. He returned in a very limited fashion on Monday, missing only one full day of practice. After remaining limited Tuesday, he was a more active participant on Thursday. He’s not taking 100% of the starter snaps, but he’s building toward that.
- Fourth-year DT Ed Oliver is absolutely dominating in training camp and looks to continue that upward trend into the season. Ditto for WR Isaiah McKenzie, who is the MVP halfway through camp.
- At the end of the first day of padded practice on Saturday, Josh Allen started a fight with Jordan Phillips. Allen says the competitive juices were flowing out there and it’s not a big deal. Boogie Basham came out swinging on Day 2 with another fight. You’ll never believe it, but there was another fight on Thursday.
- Sixth-round cornerback Christian Benford is drawing the eyes of several beat reporters at camp and is pushing for one of the final roster spots.
- With Spencer Brown limited and Saffold out, the Bills have been rotating a pair of offensive linemen at both right tackle and left guard. David Quessenberry and Tommy Doyle have been getting that run. Ryan Bates and Dion Dawkins have both missed time, as well, so we’re seeing a pretty clear pecking order on the offensive line. Even Bobby Hart and Cody Ford got some first-team reps on this week.
- Matt Araiza is clearly winning the punting competition and has been 100% with his hold so far in camp.
- CB Tre’Davious White and OG Ike Boettger begin the year on the PUP list, as expected. They are both recovering from serious injuries suffered during the 2021 season. Joining them on PUP is DT Eli Ankou.
- Penciled-in starter Rodger Saffold was in a car accident recently and suffered what general manager Brandon Beane referred to as “cracked ribs”. He begins the year on the Non-Football Injury list and a timetable for his return hasn’t been set. You’d think at this point it’d be all about pain tolerance, but with Saffold, he’s a veteran who has worked with new o-line coach Aaron Kromer before.
- Two pending free agents have been talking potential contract extensions. Jordan Poyer’s agent was in attendance as camp opened and Dawson Knox was optimistic about staying in Buffalo. Poyer’s injury complicates matters.
I’ve included the Bills Reporters Twitter list to follow along with the updates from the local beat reporters.