1. Kyle Peko is prepared to play in his first Bills game after an emotional summer
On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills announced that defensive tackle Kyle Peko had been signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad after Harrison Phillips was placed on the injured reserve with a season-ending ACL injury.
Peko never appeared in a game in 2018 and was on the Bills practice squad for all of last season.
It’s already been a whirlwind year for Peko with the Bills. He didn’t want to show up to training camp this season after learning that his wife Giuliana would be battling cancer while he was away. She pushed for him to go and two weeks ago she was declared cancer free. Now, Peko has a chance to play on Sundays.
“I think the last couple of months I’ve just kind of been here and we’re all about doing the 1/11th and that’s the role I took,” Peko said. “Now I’m called up and I got to get ready to just go out there and do what I can do to help us win.”
Peko says that Phillips has been nothing but supportive during the difficult process. Phillips was on the practice field Wednesday helping out Peko.
“Peko’s got some really cool stuff to him, great quick-twitch guy and he’s got a natural pad level as a shorter guy but that’s really going to help in the run game,” Phillips said. “Through training camp he was competing to make this roster from the get go. I think in the games that the has played in the NFL he’s made an impact so he’s going to catch his groove and make a lot of plays for this team.”
2. Cole Beasley’s production disparity not a worry
The Bills are looking at ways to get Cole Beasley more involved in the second half of games, says head coach Sean McDermott. Beasley is the team’s second leading receiver, but the vast majority of his production has come in the first and second quarters.
In the first half, Beasley has 14 receptions for 149 yards and seven first downs while in the second half he has three receptions for 22 yards and zero first downs. Beasley has also been targeted 17 times in the first half compared to only six in the second.
“It’s something we looked at and studied, I know Brian [Daboll] and his staff go back and study that,” McDermott said. “We always try and find areas where, in this case we’re discussing Cole, [we can improve]. That’s part of our growth mindset too - based on last week how can we grow, how can we take another step. That’s one of the areas, with whether it’s respect to Cole or our overall offense, we want to maintain a level of consistency.”
Beasley was unaware of the stat until it was mentioned to him. Beasley speculates that defenses are adjusting and giving him more attention after halftime which could lead to the number disparity.
“I don’t go into a game thinking okay, the first half is over now I’m not going to get any balls,” Beasley said jokingly.
“He’s been awesome for us as far as just finding windows to get open,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “He had a really big route in that fourth quarter on our last drive and found a way to get open. The way he communicates and the way he kind of goes about his business during the week and how hard he practices, I don’t think that’s going to be trouble moving forward.”
3. Harrison Phillips taking on a new role
Harrison Phillips will be helping the Bills in a different way this season after tearing his ACL. Phillips was showing growth as a player in his second season and it led to him getting increased rep counts over the first three games.
“It hurt knowing that I can't get out there and help the team,” Phillips said. “It hurts obviously knowing that this team is so special and it’s hard to come by wins in the NFL. This team is starting to find its groove and I just want to be a part of that every way I could on the field, so now I’m trying to find way to stay positive and find different roles.”
Phillips says he is devastated by the injury. He was on the practice field on Wednesday and wants to be there despite the injury. Phillips stated that he will help the assistant coaches and find new leadership roles and break down film for guys.
“Whatever I can do to try to be out there on the field,” Phillips said.