We’ve made it to the final week of Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher University already. 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.
On Sunday, the Bills practiced in only helmets, as the heat and humidity were rough. The team was also coming off their most physical practice of camp on Friday night.
The press is very limited in what they are allowed to share, and fans aren’t in the seats today, but hopefully there will still be some stuff on Twitter.
Practice starts at the normal 9:45 AM Eastern time.
Here are the biggest storylines so far in camp:
- Penciled-in starter Rodger Saffold returned to the field on Sunday. He was in a car accident recently and suffered what general manager Brandon Beane referred to as “cracked ribs.” With Saffold, he’s a veteran who has worked with new o-line coach Aaron Kromer before.
- 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. On Sunday, a few new players were sidelined with general soreness.
- Safety 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 more than a week ago. After remaining limited for a few days, he is nearly all the way back following some hip soreness.
- Fourth-year DT Ed Oliver is absolutely dominating in training camp and looks to continue that upward trend into the season. Defensive end A.J. Epenesa started in place of a resting Von Miller on Friday, taking his solid camp and turning it into the DE3 job as the top reserve.
- What’s going on in the battle at running back? Zack Moss is having a really good training camp and James Cook is mixing in with the receivers, among other things.
- Wide receiver Khalil Shakir is staking his claim not just to a roster spot, but a role in the offense. In front of him, WR Isaiah McKenzie, is the MVP halfway through camp and has locked down the slot receiver role to this point.
- At the end of the first day of padded practice last 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. The Bills may still be in need of some veteran help at the CB spot, though.
- 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 this past week.
- Matt Araiza is clearly winning the punting competition and has been 100% with his hold so far in camp.
- Cornerback 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.
- 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. Another pending free agent, fullback Reggie Gilliam, inked a new deal this weekend.
I’ve included the Bills Reporters Twitter list to follow along with the updates from the local beat reporters.