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Bills vs. Colts, 2023 NFL Preseason Week 1: open thread

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills square off against the Indianapolis Colts at 1 p.m. EDT today in the first of three preseason games on their schedule. Today’s game is the only tilt in Orchard Park, NY for the Bills this preseason. Today also marks the return of the Bills’ annual Kids Day event, presented by Fisher-Price®.

Notably, head coach Sean McDermott announced Thursday that quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs will not play today. There’s no need to expose either player to unnecessary injury. That’s likely true for a good majority of the team’s established starters.

With one less game to evaluate talent roster-wise, it’s likely that additional starters will sit out today’s matchup, or make cameo appearances at best. It’s important the coaching staff builds in enough snaps to properly evaluate the middle and back ends of each position group.

As we’ve discussed this week, there are some important starting roles that need to be established. The defense needs to figure out its starting MIKE linebacker to pair with Matt Milano. Most would agree it’s time to make a decision at CB2 between Kaiir Elam, Christian Benford, and Dane Jackson. In terms of defensive depth, keep an eye on the defensive line rotation to see how the defensive tackles are used. There will be tough decisions to make with that group.

Offensively, keep tabs on who plays when and how with regards to WR3/in the slot. Much speculation has been made that rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid could also serve in that role, so there’s plenty to watch for in the receiving game. Bills Mafia need no reminders about paying attention to the offensive line, but with so many new faces in key places there, don’t sleep on competition there.

Linebacker Terrel Bernard suffered a hamstring injury that could sideline him for a bit, and open the door for Tyrel Dodson and Baylon Spector to battle it out for rights to start next to linebacker Matt Milano.

Expect a vanilla game plan from both teams, to avoid unnecessarily showing their hand. For those of you unable to attend training camp this summer, it will your first opportunity to watch Buffalo’s newest players in action. There are always underdogs we flock to, and surprise performances from players who position themselves to make the Bills’ final 53-man roster.

Here’s your open thread. As always, please remain respectful towards others in your comments. Go Bills!

Buffalo Bills 2023 preseason schedule

  • Preseason Week 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts (August 12, 1 p.m. EDT at Highmark Stadium)
  • Preseason Week 2: at Pittsburgh Steelers (August 19, 6:30 p.m. EDT at Acrisure Stadium)
  • Preseason Week 3: at Chicago Bears (August 26, 1 p.m. EDT at Soldier Field)