The Buffalo Bills have plenty of depth in the defensive secondary. With all the injury issues they dealt with last season at the position, that depth has much more game experience now than it did in 2022, too.
The difficulty in projecting the team’s moves at corner, though, is a direct result of that depth. It’s easy to assume that the team will just “run it back” with largely the same personnel; however, it’s also quite possible that they’ll look to go in a different direction now that head coach Sean McDermott is in charge of calling the defense.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of the depth pieces at corner — a young player looking to earn a spot on the 53-man roster this year.
Name: Ja’Marcus Ingram
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 190 pounds
Age: 25 (26 on 9/2/2023)
Experience/Draft: 1; signed with Buffalo as UDFA following the 2022 NFL Draft
Acquired: UDFA signing
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Ingram enters the first year of his reserve/futures deal that he signed this offseason, a pact worth a total of $1.665 million. If he makes the 53-man roster. he carries a cap hit of $754,000. If he’s cut, the Bills are on the hook for his signing bonus, which is $8,000.
2022 Recap: Ingram spent the offseason with Buffalo after signing as an undrafted free agent, and while he didn’t make the roster out of camp, he did sign to the team’s practice squad. He was elevated once, appearing in Buffalo’s 21-19 loss at the Miami Dolphins in September, and he was signed to the active roster prior to the team’s 38-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. He played a total of 44 defensive snaps in those games, making three tackles and allowing one very long completion to Jaylen Waddle that set the Dolphins up for what became the game-winning touchdown. After the Steelers game, Buffalo released Ingram and re-signed him to the practice squad, where he remained for the rest of the season.
Positional outlook: Ingram is one of a host of corners fighting for space on a deep roster. Tre’Davious White, Kaiir Elam, Christian Benford, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, Siran Neal, Cam Lewis, and Kyler McMichael all return from last year’s squad, with new draftee Alex Austin added to the competition as well.
2023 Offseason: Ingram is healthy and participating in offseason activities thus far.
2023 Season outlook: While Ingram possesses a size/speed combo that most of Buffalo’s defensive backs do not, the top end of this group is very strong, and unless the team wants to upgrade over someone like Jackson, there’s little room for someone new here. That’s not to say that the team shouldn’t be looking for an upgrade over Jackson, but it is hard to find someone with his experience for the role he’d be projected to hold. With Neal firmly entrenched on special teams and a top four of White, Elam, Benford, and Johnson pretty clear, there isn’t much room here. Ingram is probably in a direct competition with McMichael and Austin for a spot on the practice squad, with one of those three potentially giving Jackson a run for his money on the 53-man roster.