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Five players to watch

Posted Aug 20, 2011

As we move deeper into the preseason roles on the team must be solidified while players fighting to make the team must step forward. Here’s a look at a mix of both kinds of players to be mindful of when the Bills take on the Broncos tonight at 8:30 pm in Denver.

1 – WR Kamar AikenThe undrafted rookie receiver (#88) has made more plays in training camp the last couple of weeks and is a popular target of Levi Brown. In the second half of the game Aiken figures to get plenty of playing time. He may not crack a deep receiving corps, but with size and separation ability Aiken could nail down a practice squad spot.

2 – OLB Danny BattenThe former sixth-round pick had a solid debut performance last week after missing his entire rookie season. He’ll get a lot more playing time tonight with Shawne Merriman sitting this game out. It will be interesting to see how he fares when lined up against a quality left tackle in Ryan Clady.

3 – OLB Robert EddinsThe undrafted rookie out of Ball State (#48) has been around the ball a lot in the practice setting and was noticeable in the preseason opener against the Bears. His run-pass recognition seems pretty sharp. Much like Aiken he’s at a position of depth, but if he turns in a big play or two this preseason he too is a top candidate for the practice squad.

4 – WR Donald JonesJones is still working on his deep ball timing with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but with increased reps Jones believes it will come along. This is a two-player relationship that has to develop quickly, which makes it worth an extended look.

5 – G Chad RinehartHe worked his way into a rotation at the starting left guard spot this past week with two-year starter Andy Levitre. How much time Rinehart is rotated in with the top unit tonight, and how he fares in that role will go a long way in determining whether Rinehart is a minor or major threat to Levitre’s starting job.