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5 players to follow for Thursday's Bills training camp scrimmage

Ed Oliver. Buffalo Bills Media Day, August 1, 2020. Photo by Bill Wippert
Ed Oliver. Buffalo Bills Media Day, August 1, 2020. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills will have their lone scrimmage of training camp on Thursday. Without preseason games, head coach Sean McDermott said this will be their dress rehearsal for Week 1. McDermott explained players will essentially go through a game day by participating in pregame warmups and going through how the team does halftime. This dry run is important for new players to learn how the Bills attack game day. 

To get you ready for the scrimmage, here are five players to follow.

Scroll through to see the best practice photos from Day 8 of Bills Training Camp, presented by Connors and Ferris.

1. QB Josh Allen

Most of these players on the list are new, but it's still important to note how Allen performs in the scrimmage. Since there are no preseason games, this is a chance to work on passing game timing with his receivers in a game-like scenario before Week 1.

Allen said on Monday his timing with receiver Stefon Diggs is on the right track. As the team scrimmages, it will be interesting to watch how Allen's connection has grown with his new receivers since the start of camp. Diggs and rookie Gabe Davis have had great camps, so the scrimmage should be no different. This is an opportunity for Allen to work on different tempos and packages based on what the defense presents.

2. WR Gabriel Davis

If you've been hiding under a rock, let me bring you up to speed—rookie receiver Gabe Davis has had an impressive camp. The UCF product was 10th in receptions, seventh in receiving yards and second in touchdowns with 23 during his collegiate career.

Day after day Davis puts his athleticism, strength and hands on display. It doesn't matter if he's going up against Tre'Davious White, Davis will find a way to get his hands on the ball. As a rookie, it will be important for Davis to go through a dress rehearsal of game day to feel everything out. If Davis continues to show his talent and knowledge of the playbook, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will certainly find a way to use him in the offense.

3. RB Zack Moss

By watching Zack Moss' highlights from Utah it's easy to see he's a hard runner who will get you those tough extra yards. Moss broke six records at Utah, which explains why the Bills knew he could be play a part in the offense as a rookie.

After a couple days in camp, Moss proved he's more than just a running back used in short yardage situations. Moss, like Devin Singletary, is a pass catching running back. He has wheels like Singletary too. The RB said his biggest wakeup call to life in the NFL is experiencing how an NFL defense swarms to the ball. It will be beneficial for Moss to continue getting reps against the top-three defense from last year. By Week 1 he'll be ready for anything. This scrimmage will be meaningful to the rookie so he can experience what pregame and halftime is like with McDermott and his coaching staff.

4. WR Isaiah Hodgins

Receiver Isaiah Hodgins is another rookie who's had a productive camp. Hodgins has shown how he can be valuable to this offense using his 6'4 frame as a receiver. The more reps, the better for this young wide out who is learning Brian Daboll's offense and showing he has a good handle on it.

Hodgins has had a few impressive receptions during training camp. His size is what stands out most. The receiver has the body of a tight end but speed of a receiver. If he can prove he's a solid contender for any pass thrown at him, he'll definitely be helpful to Josh Allen. Just like the other rookies, having something close to a game will be beneficial to Hodgins whether it's learning how the team goes through warmups or his way around the stadium.

5. DT Ed Oliver

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver did not participate in the first few practices of training camp due to a hip injury. He is one player to follow because Thursday's scrimmage will produce valuable reps for the young defensive lineman.

Oliver came on strong in the second half of the season recording 2.0 sacks in Week 13's game against the Cowboys. The DT finished the season with 5.0 sacks, and many expect to see a jump in productivity from him as he transitions into his second year in the NFL. Now that Oliver has been in defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier's defense for a year, it will be interesting to see how he attacks offenses in 2020.

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