Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott spoke with the media ahead of practice on Monday. Here are three things we learned.
1. Players missing practice on Monday
The Bills coach announced that wide receiver John Brown and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson will miss practice due to illnesses, though neither is considered related to COVID-19 at this point.
McDermott also listed the following players as being out Monday: Quinton Spain, Tyler Kroft (foot), Tommy Sweeney, Jon Feliciano, Pat DiMarco, Taiwan Jones, Ty Nsekhe (veteran day off), Victor Salako (back), Vernon Butler (hamstring), and Josh Norman (hamstring).
2. Looking for consistency on the offensive line
The Bills utilized a rotation at right tackle last season, splitting reps between Nsekhe and rookie Cody Ford until Nsekhe was sidelined with an injury in Week 11. McDermott said the team will try to avoid that this season in favor of establishing a consistent presence on the right side.
"I'd rather not," McDermott said. "I do believe that consistency and the continuity piece just breed a higher level of execution. So, we'll see. We'll do what we have to do to put the best product on the field."
As for who that consistent presence will be, McDermott said evaluations are ongoing as of Monday.
"I wish I could sit here today and say we knew exactly how it's going to look," he said. "We're still looking at some things. I think we've got a pretty good feel of how it's going to look. There has been ongoing conversations every day, evaluations."
3. Onto regular season mode
Sunday marked the final practice of training camp, with the Bills switching to their regular-season practice schedule as of Monday. The upcoming week will require a balancing act between adapting to that routine, evaluating position battles prior to Saturday's roster cutdown, and preparing for Week 1.
Asked about the potential for another intrasquad scrimmage in lieu of preseason games, McDermott explained that planning process requires flexibility at this late stage.
"We're at a point now where I have to take it one day at a time, just so I can assess after each day," McDermott said. "Two or three weeks ago, I had a good vision for where we wanted to go and I could plan that far out. Right now, because we are in the final stages, I really need to take it one day at a time to see where we are and see what position battles we need to see more of.
"If we need to go live and have a scrimmage, we'll do that in order to make those critical decisions."