Jake Kumerow got a taste of what it's like to be on the Bills active roster throughout parts of the 2020 season. While he spent most of the time on the practice squad, he formed a bond and a reputation with this Bills team. His mindset this offseason has been laser-focused on doing whatever he can in order to make the Bills final 53-man roster.
"That's everything," Kumerow said after Wednesday's practice. "That's what my goal is. That's the plan, that's the goal. That's what I've been working for, that's what the offseason was for. That's what going hard in camp is for. That's what this week's game is for – to make that team. And I'm going to do everything I can to do that and try and hold down a spot."
Kumerow played in six games for the Bills last season and made a big play in Denver to help the Bills clinch the AFC East title. His 22-yard touchdown reception was the only catch Kumerow had all season, but it was important, and it certainly meant a lot to his quarterback Josh Allen.
"He's my favorite receiver," Allen said jokingly. "One for one, one touchdown, 100 percent and we'll try to keep that thing rolling. No, but [Kumerow] comes to practice every day and he just puts his head down and he works, doesn't talk a whole lot. But he is the definition of a gamer, like get in the game and do whatever it takes. … He's a big body receiver, he uses his physical tools. He's just a guy that you root for too. He's just so nice and so humble and a guy that just wants to do his job for this team"
The Bills have a very selfless team that roots for one another and puts the team before the individual. Standing tall at 6-foot-4, Kumerow can line up all over the field on offense and is a key contributor on special teams. A big reason why Kumerow fits in so well in Buffalo is that he's a versatile player that can do a lot to help the team succeed.
"The way that Coach Dabs (Daboll) has the offense drawn up, I like to be able to help them out in any way possible," Kumerow said. "Whether it's being an outside guy, an inside guy, being able to make blocks, being down the line of scrimmage making blocks, and also special teams. Being able to not only fit in on the offense but fit in there, be able to make plays and help us out give us good field position, and just be an all-around player so I love it here."
Through two preseason games, Kumerow has caught two passes for 20 yards and one touchdown. He has caught the attention of the coaches, his teammates, and the fans with some of the plays he has made in camp. One player on the Bills defense who has had to cover Kumerow a lot during camp is Dane Jackson. Jackson has made some solid defensive plays while covering Kumerow in practice and the corner noted that there is one that that's deceiving about him.
"He's like an all-around good receiver in every aspect: blocking, catching, and running after the catch," Jackson said. "He just sneaks up on you really. You don't really see it off the rip, but when he's out there running it's like crazy. He can run, he can catch, and he can do it all. His size is deceiving. You don't think bigger guys are fast but he's really fast."
For Kumerow, this Saturday's preseason game is a bit of a reunion as the Green Bay Packers come to town. Kumerow was a member of the Packers from 2017-2019 and was a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers. In 19 games for Green Bay, Kumerow had 20 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns. Kumerow is eager to showcase his skills in the preseason finale and seeing old friends is just icing on the cake.
"Yeah, I'm excited, it will be cool to see some of the guys I know, some familiar faces," Kumerow said. "I'm looking forward to it. Also, it's the next game so I'm going to be excited, no matter what. Just because it's Green Bay it will be good to bump those guys around a little bit."
Additional practice notes:
- After being sent home as a precaution on Tuesday, both linebackers Matt Milano and A.J. Klein returned and practiced fully on Wednesday.
- The Bills defense had a strong showing during Wednesday's practice. Micah Hyde intercepted a ball thrown by Mitch Trubisky. Matt Milano came back strong after having a day off and intercepted a tipped pass from Davis Webb. That pass was tipped by undrafted rookie corner Olaijah Griffin. One of the newest Bills, cornerback Tim Harris - who signed with the team Monday – also picked off Davis Webb.
Injury Update ...
Antonio Williams (neck), Isaiah McKenzie (shoulder), Marquez Stevenson (foot), Tommy Sweeney (foot), Spencer Brown (knee), Trevon Hester (back), Harrison Phillips (knee), Dane Jackson (stinger), Jaquan Johnson (knee), Taron Johnson (hand), Levi Wallace (hip) and Reid Ferguson (back) all did not practice on Wednesday.
Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei all still remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.