The Buffalo Bills are continuing their preparation for Week 4 at the Ravens. Here are the latest updates from the team before they head to Baltimore.
Rhodes' mindset: "Stay ready so you don't have to get ready"
Free agent and former All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes was at home with his family this week when he got a call from his agent about going to Buffalo for a tryout with the Bills. And on Wednesday morning, the team announced they were signing him to the practice squad as they look to add depth to the secondary that's lost several key players to injuries in recent weeks.
"An experienced player, has played a lot of football, ball production, and smart veteran player," head coach Sean McDermott said on Rhodes.
2021 was the last time Rhodes played in the NFL when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. So, after two days of practice as a Buffalo Bill, Rhodes shared that it felt good to be back out on the field with his new teammates, and it didn't take long for the Miami native to see the potential this team has.
"I've been doing this for 10 years and it's just in me to get back out on the field, be in this brotherhood, and just being around the guys," Rhodes said.
"These guys, it's just a family and once you have family on a team, the sky's the limit," Rhodes said. "With the communication that goes on when I first got here with the defense and the communication with offense - I've been around a defense and offense like that before, so to see that, I know that the sky's the limit."
The veteran cornerback is quite familiar with the Bills. He recently played against them when he was with the Colts; he also workouts with safety Jordan Poyer back home in Miami during the offseason.
"It's a great thing because it's not something you have to start anew," Rhodes said on the transition to Buffalo. "You have someone you know that knows you, knows your ins and outs. It was a great feeling."
Rhodes is also familiar with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who was the head coach of the Vikings when he was drafted back in 2013. These previously formed connections — and the ongoing injuries the Bills locker — played a major role in bringing the vet to Buffalo.
"I would say what helped the process is, you all know what happened with the team," Rhodes said. "But also, just having a relationship with him (Frazier) and having relationships with a lot of other guys here, helped it also. Basically, they wanted me to be here for my presence for the guys that went down."
Even though Rhodes isn't fully certain of what his role is going to be on the team yet, he shared that he's here to help the team as much as possible. His love for the game made it easy to work out and stay in shape throughout the last year when he wasn't on an NFL roster, so he was ready for this moment.
"I was out there just working out, doing something I love," Rhodes said. "I was just waiting on the call and then once it came - I always tell myself, stay ready so you don't have to get ready."
Focused on the Ravens
Since the beginning of the NFL season, Bills players and coaches have acknowledged how hard it is to win in this league – a fact they experienced last week in their first loss of the season against the Miami Dolphins. But that game is already in the past and the focus is on this Sunday's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens who are also 2-1.
"Every week is hard, no matter what team you're playing against," offensive lineman Dion Dawkins said. "I really wouldn't call it bouncing back. It's really just staying on beat. There are wins and losses throughout the season. We just got hit with a loss, it's just the way it is. But we've moved on, and we're on to the Ravens."
New lessons are learned each week, regardless of the outcome.
"Just execute each and every play, take it one play at a time, and just do our jobs as best we can," WR Isaiah McKenzie said. "Last week was kind of rough, but we tried to get back on track this week by executing in practice, going over plays in practice, and seeing what we did wrong in games we won and games we lost."
Similarly to last week, injuries up and down the Bills roster are resulting in uncertainty surrounding the game-day lineup. Dawkins explained that's just the reality of the sport and it's out of their control.
"We go through our days understanding who the guys are in the locker room," Dawkins said. "When it's set-hut, we know exactly who's out there and what he's capable of doing. I love everybody on this football team. We know everybody who we have, and the management got all of the right guys here so we could continue to move without a drastic hiccup."
Confidence is a mutual feeling throughout the locker room heading into this weekend. Linebacker Von Miller shared that he's surrounded by "guys who are capable of doing spectacular things," and he's excited to see how his team responds against the Ravens.
"I'm the type of guy, if I'm playing a Madden video game and I lose I want to run it back right now," Miller said. "C'mon let's run it back and play one more time. You really can't do that in football. You have to simmer and let it sit with you and wait till the next Sunday to play. So, I'm chomping at the bit to get back out there."
The Bills held their first practice of the week in preparation for Sunday's game in Baltimore against the Ravens. This gallery is presented by On Location.