Allen: "Every day it gets so much better"
With mounds of snow piled up next to the field house, the Buffalo Bills practiced outside Wednesday in preparation for their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football.
Quarterback Josh Allen did not practice nor did linebacker Baylon Spector (hamstring), cornerback Kaiir Elam (ankle) and safety Damar Hamlin (illness). Tight end Quintin Morris was listed as limited with an ankle injury.
After practice, Allen said that his lack of action Wednesday was precautionary, and that if their game was today, he could start without any issues.
"Every day it gets so much better, and again, if I had to practice today, absolutely would have. If the game was today, I'm playing the game," Allen said. "But just in terms of making sure that it's not going to be super sore and wanting to be smart when we're throwing it and that's up to our training staff."
The Buffalo QB is confident the injury isn't a longterm situation.
"I don't think it's going to linger too much," Allen said. "But I think this was the best thing for me in making sure that, just trying to stay ahead of it and not let this affect me long term."
The Bills will face the Bengals for the first time since their 27-10 loss in the Divisional Round of the 2022 playoffs.
After starting the season 1-3, Cincinnati is riding a three-game win streak after a 31-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers that saw the Bengals takeaway the ball three times. Allen said that the Bengals defense is firing on all cylinders at this point in the season.
"That's a really good defense that we're going against and led by another Wyoming Cowboy Logan Wilson, who's maybe the best linebacker in the game right now. He's flying around and is super instinctive," Allen said. "Their front is really good, they got four guys up front that can go and I think they're playing really well in the secondary to playing and tying it together with their D-line."
Defensively, the Bills are preparing to face one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Joe Burrow. Burrow suffered a non-contact injury to his calf in the preseason, but has continued to progress through the season. He completed 28 of his 32 passing attempts for 283 yards and three touchdowns last week, adding 43 yards on the ground.
"He's an extremely smart quarterback who's seen all the looks, he knows where to go with the football, he can make all the throws, he's got good playmakers around him that understand that offense as well," said safety Jordan Poyer after practice. "We're going to have to play extremely well to win and find ways to take the football away."
No more beef here
While it remains to be determined if he will be active for Sunday's game, the Bills defense gained another piece when Buffalo traded for former Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas. The Bills sent the Packers a third-round pick in exchange for the seven-year veteran and a fifth round pick.
"I'm excited to work with him, I'm excited to see what he brings to the table and I'm excited to learn from him," Poyer said.
Douglas has 10 interceptions over the last three seasons, including two returned for touchdowns.
"He's got ball production, visual player, so I think those are two things that stand out the most," said Sean McDermott before practice. "He's a physical corner that tackles."
In addition to trading for Douglas, the Bills signed running back Leonard Fournette to their practice squad Tuesday morning. Fournette, a former fourth-overall pick out of LSU, began his career in Jacksonville and won Super Bowl LV with Tampa Bay.
"He has accomplished quite a bit in his career and I think it's admirable that he still feels like he has goals that perhaps he wants to work towards and achieve," McDermott said.
Despite the snowy conditions late Tuesday night, Fournette was decked out in shorts for his first practice as a Buffalo Bill.
"This gave me the opportunity I feel like I needed," Fournette said. "I had a couple teams reach out to me but I really just wanted to do what was best for me. I was in the South for most of my career, in the hear, so this is a change up."
Last season, Fournette had over 1,100 total yards and scored six touchdowns for the Bucs. He said that he never considered retirement as he waited to sign with a team this season.
"I've got a lot left in the tank to play, so it was all about the right opportunity with the right team," Fournette said.
Fournette and Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson famously got into a brawl in a 2018 matchup between the Jaguars and Bills. After both teams gathered around near the end zone after a play was initially ruled a Jacksonville touchdown, both sides started to shove each other. Lawson and Fournette took it to each other and went to the ground before they were both ejected from the game.
Even before they became teammates, the two move past the incident and even laughed about it together.
"My first time meeting Shaq was last summer since we fought in 2018, and we just laughed about it," Fournette said. "I told him I won, but it's cool. I like Shaq, he's cool."
The two posted a video after practice that confirms that their relationship has improved since 2018.
A return to the diamond
For the fourth year, Bills safety Micah Hyde will host his Charity Softball Game, presented by Northtown Automotive and benefiting his Imagine for Youth Foundation.
The event will be held at Sahlen Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons on Sunday, May 19th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are live and can be found at this link. General admission tickets are $35 each and there will be a limited number of VIP tickets that will include a Micah Hyde commemorative jersey.
Over 40 Bills players and coaches participated in the game last year, which ended in a walk-off home run from Hyde, naturally.
Tickets sold out in a matter of hours last season, so be sure to secure your spot.
Scroll to see photos from the Buffalo Bills Week 9 Practice as the team prepares to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.