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3 things to know from training camp practice No. 17

Stefon Diggs (14) Buffalo Bills vs Chicago Bears, Preseason Week 2, August 21, 2021 at Soldier Field.
 Photo by Bill Wippert
Stefon Diggs (14) Buffalo Bills vs Chicago Bears, Preseason Week 2, August 21, 2021 at Soldier Field. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills were back on the practice field just one day after their preseason win against the Bears. It was a lighter walkthrough practice for the group before getting into a new schedule this week.

Here are three things to know about Sunday's lighter day.

1. Stefon Diggs is trending in the right direction + other injury updates

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has missed the last several training camp practices due to a knee injury. On Sunday, Diggs participated in walkthrough practice. Head coach Sean McDermott said things are looking better for him.

"He's trending in the right direction here," McDermott said. "So we'll just continue to monitor that every day. I don't know if we'll have him for this game. My guess is not at this point, but we'll continue to see how it goes."

Several players came out of Saturday's game against the Bears due to injury. McDermott did not have an update on many players and said there will be a group who misses a couple of days and one or two players who miss a week or two.

Defensive lineman Harrison Phillips was one of the players who came out of the game with a knee injury. It was the same knee that suffered an ACL tear in 2019. Phillips was not at practice on Sunday and McDermott said he could miss a little bit of time.

Wide receiver Marquez Stevenson was also not at practice. Stevenson came out of the game and had x-rays done on his foot that came back negative. McDermott did not have an update on his status.

2. Ike Boettger making the most of camp practices after missing due to COVID-19

Like Dion Dawkins, offensive lineman Ike Boettger missed the beginning of training camp due to contracting COVID-19. Boettger made his way back to the field sooner than Dawkins and didn't suffer from as many symptoms, but still had a tough time adjusting to practices.

"I wouldn't recommend taking two weeks of doing absolutely nothing and then jumping into training camp," Boettger shared. "My symptoms weren't crazy, but I came back from them and it's taken a bit to get back in the swing of things. So, just working every day, resting, eating properly and doing all the things I can off the field to help my performance on the field."

Boettger said his conditioning isn't back to where it was before he got the virus, but it's improved a lot since coming back to practice. He explained he still can't do everything he wants and is still focusing on getting as much rest as possible.

The guard started in a career-high seven games last season for the Bills. Since coming back he has gotten a fair share of reps in camp. Those reps have been valuable because he has the chance to have a role on the offensive line this year.

"I'm just trying to get myself in that best position and to be the best player that I can be to help the team win," Boettger explained. "You look around on the field and there's just awesome players everywhere and it's such a fun team of great guys. And I just want to get myself and put myself in a position to help in any way I can."

3. How the practice plan shifts as training camp winds down

With roster cuts looming and Week 1 right around the corner, practices will begin to shift to resemble an in-season schedule. The team is off on Monday and will practice on Tuesday to prepare for Saturday's game against the Packers.

McDermott said it's important to get into a routine so the younger players can get adjusted before Week 1.

"We'll get back Tuesday and we'll try and acclimate the guys a little bit to a normal in-season schedule," McDermott said. "So, this is pretty much the last day of camp, I guess you could say, in terms of the way the practices will be shaped. It'll be good to get into routine a little bit that way. Especially with some of our new players who've never been around us during a regular season flow before."

Saturday's game against the Packers will be Buffalo's final preseason game before roster cuts on Tuesday, August 31.

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