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Bills vs. Lions, NFL preseason Week 4: Matt Simms to start; all starters resting

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For the Buffalo Bills' most critical players, the preseason is over, and they can start focusing on Indianapolis. For the rest? They have roster spots to claim (or roles to cement) Thursday night in Detroit.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking with reporters following his team's preseason practice on Tuesday, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan announced that his starters will all sit out Thursday evening's exhibition finale on the road against the Detroit Lions.

Buffalo's starters on both sides of the ball played into the third quarter during Saturday afternoon's 43-19 win over Pittsburgh, and with that lengthy chunk of work behind them, the Bills will rest their most critical players with their September 13 home opener against the Indianapolis Colts now less than two weeks away.

That list of starters includes freshly-anointed top quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who won't play. It's not likely that we'll see either of EJ Manuel or Matt Cassel, either, as Ryan noted that Matt Simms could very well end up taking every snap under center in Detroit.

Another starter who probably won't play on Thursday: right tackle Seantrel Henderson, who Ryan officially confirmed in that role on Tuesday. Henderson beats out Cyrus Kouandjio for the job that he held for 16 games as a rookie in 2014.

The Bills and the Lions kick off from Ford Field at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday evening.