Josh Allen named starter for Bills third preseason game


The quarterback rotation continues in practice this week, but come game time on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, it will be Josh Allen who will start.

The Bills made a team announcement early Monday evening.

Head coach Sean McDermott did confirm that as the team moves into the middle of the week that practices will more closely resemble a regular season game week.

"We'll start to move into a little bit of a blend of [this being] a normal week as we prepare," he said. "Our players can get acclimated to the routine of a normal, regular season week."

Through his first two preseason games, Allen has completed 18 of 32 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 92.7. Sunday will mark the first time he'll be facing an NFL team's starting defense, as he faced largely second teamers at Cleveland and third teamers in the preseason opener.

McDermott has generally liked the performance of all three quarterback candidates, but when asked specifically about Allen, he's been impressed with the rookie's growth through training camp and the preseason.

"So far overall, I would say he's been pretty steady," said McDermott of Allen after the Browns game this past Friday. "That's a great quality. Mentally he's pretty steady. I think the guys appreciate that for a rookie to have that quality is important. The mental toughness element if you will that's so important to manage the highs and lows of the NFL."

Buffalo's head coach has also seen Allen begin to earn the respect of his teammates, a quality he sees as critical for a young quarterback.

"You see him in here all the time. He's always focused on his craft. He's also a great teammate," said Logan Thomas. "He's getting to know people and understand them and what makes people tick and it's easy to respect anybody like that."

"He's coming along well. He's made some good plays," said Jeremy Kerley. "It's special to watch him play and that's why he got picked with the seventh pick. Some of what he can do is rare, and you see it out there at times. It's going to be fun to watch him grow over the years."

As encouraging as Allen's play has been, coach McDermott wants to keep expectations in check for the rookie.

"There is a lot to be positive about and I love the excitement around that," said McDermott. "That said, let's just manage expectations. He's a young player and let's just take it one day at a time right now and a lot to be learned still. We're going into the third week of the preseason and this will be an opportunity this week for us as a team and Josh as an individual to continue to grow."