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Bills Today: How Taron Johnson and Siran Neal accomplished a franchise first


1 - How Taron Johnson and Siran Neal accomplished a franchise first

The Bills doubled up at defensive back on day three of the 2018 draft, selecting Taron Johnson and Siran Neal in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively. Fast forward to Week 4 of the 2018 season, and the two defenders have already etched their names in the Bills' record books.

In Buffalo's Week 4 matchup with the Packers, both Johnson and Neal recorded their first career sacks. With the take downs, Johnson and Neal became Buffalo's first set of rookie defensive backs to record sacks in the same contest.

Two Buffalo defensive backs have recorded sacks in the same game on only five occasions since 1970. The last time this happened was in 2013, when Nickell Robey and Da'Norris Searcy both took Ryan Tannehill down in a 19-0 win over the Dolphins.

On Sunday, Johnson and Neal became just the second pair of Bills defensive backs to accomplish the feat in a road game. Before last weekend's contest, Jarius Byrd and Donte Whitner were the only Buffalo DBs to both record sacks in an away game, doing so on Dec. 19, 2010 in Miami.

2 - Shaq Lawson adds versatility along the defensive line

Shaq Lawson participated in his second game of the 2018 season on Sunday, and he did so in a new role.

Lawson, who primarily plays as a defensive end in coach Sean McDermott's 4-3 scheme, rotated in at defensive tackle throughout Sunday's game. With just three defensive tackles active for the contest, Buffalo needed another defender to spell starters Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei on occasion. According to McDermott, Lawson filled in admirably.

"That's something we're looking at is to be able to play him inside in that three-technique and have him do some things for us," McDermott said. "I thought at times he showed up so I'm anxious to look at the film."

Three-techniques are expected to burst past opposing linemen and make plays in the backfield, and Lawson did that on Sunday. He totaled three tackles, one of which was for a loss.

Lawson returned to the field in Week 4 after suffering a hamstring injury in Buffalo's season opener. McDermott said that Lawson's work ethic has become apparent over the past number of weeks.

"I commend Shaq on his attitude and his approach since coming off the injury," McDermott said. "Our medical staff did a good job getting him healthy."

3 - McDermott on Micah Hyde's injury-shortened homecoming

Buffalo safety Micah Hyde was extremely excited for the team's Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

Hyde, who inked a five-year deal with the Bills in the 2017 offseason, was looking forward to his "homecoming," so to speak. Hyde spent the first four years of his professional career with the Packers, who selected the versatile defensive back in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. Once again playing at the historic Lambeau Field and going up against his former teammates was something that Hyde was anxious to do.

Unfortunately, Hyde suffered a groin injury in the first quarter of Sunday's matchup. A return to the game seemed possible at one point, as Hyde was standing on the sideline with his helmet shortly after the injury occurred. A Hyde homecoming was not in the cards, however, as the 27-year-old was ruled out at half time.

The Bills' defense stepped up in Hyde's absence, forcing three fumbles in addition to picking off Aaron Rodgers' first interception of the season. While head coach Sean McDermott knows that Hyde would have loved to play on Sunday, he feels as though the team's secondary used his injury as motivation.

"It was unfortunate for Micah to come back to Green Bay and not be able to contribute," McDermott said. "I know he wanted to be out there. I thought the guys that stepped in were prepared and they did their jobs for the most part. Just unfortunate for Micah overall."

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