5 players to watch in the second preseason game | Bills vs. Panthers

Buffalo Bills offensive guard Jon Feliciano (76) Buffalo Bills vs Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field, August 8, 2019. Photo by Bill Wippert
Buffalo Bills offensive guard Jon Feliciano (76) Buffalo Bills vs Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field, August 8, 2019. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Buffalo Bills spent the week in Spartanburg, South Carolina practicing with the Carolina Panthers ahead of their second preseason game on Friday at 7 p.m. EST. Here are five players to watch against the Panthers.

1. Jon Feliciano, offensive lineman

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said he and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson will continue to mix and match players on the line but likes the competition he’s seeing within the group. Jon Feliciano’s mainly plays at right guard, but with Mitch Morse in concussion protocol Feliciano has gotten several reps at center. Feliciano will be a viable option at center if Morse is ever unable to play.

“He’s a tough guy,” offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said. “He’s smart. He has been a really good addition. He has position flexibility where he can play guard but has done a really nice job for us at center. There’s a lot of communication that goes on at that position.”

2. Captain Munnerlyn, cornerback

The Bills signed Captain Munnerlyn on Saturday. Munnerlyn spent the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The corner is familiar with Sean McDermott’s system, spending three seasons with him in Carolina. Over the last several seasons, Munnerlyn has seen a lot of action in the slot. During Wednesday’s joint practice with the Panthers, Munnerlyn took first-team reps at nickel. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier says they will work him into a few snaps during Friday’s scrimmage but want to focus on getting him acclimated first.

“It’s been a few years since the last time we worked together,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “But what I remember is the competitiveness, the toughness. Obviously, he’s played in this system before, so he has some familiarity with our system, but in the slot and at corner. We’ll see how he does and how he progresses. He’s been out of it a little bit, so he has to play himself back into shape.”

3. Andre Roberts, wide receiver

Andre Roberts is known for his success in the return game, but quarterback Josh Allen is impressed with what he’s seen out of Roberts as a receiver.

“He’s been developing as a wide receiver for us,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “He runs some crisp routes and has been catching the ball and has the same explosiveness that we see from him on special teams.”

Roberts is listed behind Zay Jones on the depth chart. The receiver has seen first-team action in camp due to his route running and pass catching ability.

4. Darryl Johnson, defensive end

Rookie Darryl Johnson recorded his first NFL sack during the preseason game against the Colts. Johnson totaled three tackles along with a batted pass. The seventh-round pick has a lengthy stature, which bodes well in McDermott’s defense. Johnson received praise from veteran teammates after making an impact in his first NFL game.

“He had a really good game, but we had seen some of that in training camp with the progress he had made,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “So, wasn’t totally surprised, but it’s a whole different thing watching it in practice and seeing it in a live situation against another opponent. It’s really encouraging to see. We think he has a big upside, but we have more games to play, more technique to work on, more fundamentals to fine tune. It was encouraging to see the way he started that game, he really played well for us.”

5. Christian Wade, running back

Christian Wade had the highlight of the first preseason game against the Colts, scoring a 65-yard touchdown on his first NFL carry. The former rugby player didn’t receive many touches in his first football game—the carry that resulted in a touchdown and an attempt at a reception. It will be interesting to see if Wade sees more action in his second preseason game after a big play in the first.

“It has definitely been really challenging for me, and I think moments like this [65-yard touchdown] kind of make it all worth it,” Wade said. “It just shows that if you do put the hard work in then good things do come.”

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