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Five players to watch

Posted Aug 10, 2017

As the Bills get ready to take on the Viking at home for the 2017 preseason opener, here's five players to keep an eye on.

1 - Shamiel Gary
The first-year player has earned his way toward a second team safety role through the first 11 days of training camp practices. When Micah Hyde was sidelined by a hip injury it was Gary who was bumped up to the starting unit to replace him. If Gary can carry his consistent play into preseason game number one, it will move him closer to nailing down one of the top four safety spots on the roster.

2 - Gerald Hodges
Hodges was a late free agent signee in June, but he’s done a great job of making up for lost time. He’s got a firm grasp of the defensive system, which is in stark contrast to the 3-4 scheme he played in last year. He’s had a nose for takeaways with an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery in practice the past week. He was rewarded with more snaps as the second team middle linebacker. A solid game Thursday could cement a role on the 53-man roster.

3 - Rod Streater
Streater has been one of the most consistent receivers in camp and has made plays in the passing game almost every day on the practice field. Getting that level of play to translate to Thursday night’s game will be crucial in convincing the coaching staff that he can be a reliable threat when the games count.

4 - Bradley Sylve
Not much has been written about the first-year player out of Alabama, who had to overcome Achilles surgery. Sylve was an elite athlete before the injury and most feel it’s a matter of time before he’s back to his top form. Quietly he’s moved up the depth chart, and with Kevon Seymour unlikely to play Thursday he’ll get prime snaps with the second team defense opposite Shareece Wright at cornerback.

5 - Logan Thomas
The converted tight end has fared well in training camp and has been getting consistent snaps with the second unit. Thomas has even been sprinkled in for first team reps in camp. If he can take advantage of his size mismatch in the passing game it’ll go a long way in locking down the third tight end role.