Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced on Friday morning that CB Dane Jackson will not play on Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins, meaning rookie corners Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam are in line to get the nod as the two starters.
The next-man-up mindset has Benford and Elam ready to step up in Miami. McDermott expressed his trust across the locker room with multiple position groups also banged up.
"I know we have a number of injuries here, but I remain very confident in our football team, and very confident in the back end," head coach Sean McDermott said.
This week, Benford explained that the transition from not knowing when his name would be called to play, to now filling one of the two starter positions has been a seamless adjustment He felt the experience he had in the first two regular season games, where he rotated in and out with Elam — and action during the preseason — prepared him for this moment.
"It's honestly a blessing to be in this opportunity," Benford said. "A blessing filled with joy and excitement to be 2-0 going into this game and possibly starting. I'm in the position I always wanted to be in."
Benford shared that the Bills' rookies have leaned on each other in the locker room and on the field to help each other get better physically and mentally. One of those rookies being Elam, who is also looking forward to putting his best foot forward against an explosive Miami offense.
"The experience in us, building upon our reps and getting more comfortable out there is something that I think is going to help us prepare for this game," Elam said. "I'm always taking it one step at a time. Just trying to lock in, focus every day and every rep."
The two rookies will be faced with a challenge in stopping Miami's wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, but are going in with a simple mindset to not get overwhelmed.
"Play your game, that's it," Benford said. "You get a feel for your opponent once you're out there. "
The Buffalo Bills practice to prepare for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.