Skip to main content

Quick Hits: Allen's start Sunday rooted in QB plan and routine


It didn't take long for questions to be asked of Bills head coach Sean McDermott as to why the decision to start Josh Allen in Sunday's preseason game against Cincinnati was made so early in the week. McDermott had a couple of key reasons.

"We'll still sticking for the most part with our evaluation and our plan," said McDermott with respect to the quarterback competition. "As far as announcing it (early), we really want him to go through a routine of what it would be like in a normal regular season week of dealing with the potential distractions and all that goes with the quarterback position and learning how to balance that.

"AJ has been through that, Nate has as well, so this was an opportunity for Josh to go through this for his first time."

McDermott said Allen has largely earned every opportunity he has received through the course of training camp and the preseason.

Buffalo's head coach did not reveal whether Nate Peterman would also see some time with the starting unit on offense Sunday against the Bengals.

He did say that practice this week would resemble more of a regular season Wednesday practice, and the rotation at quarterback would be similar in nature to that.

McCarron back practicing but limited

Five days after it was feared that AJ McCarron had suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him sidelined indefinitely, the quarterback will be back practicing with his teammates, albeit on a limited basis.

"We'll just see how he does," said McDermott. "He does have some shoulder soreness. We'll see how he progresses through the day."

Outside reports of the injury maintained that McCarron had a hairline fracture of his collarbone coming out of the preseason game against Cleveland.

McCarron underwent lengthy testing and even sought a second opinion on his right shoulder injury. In the end it was discovered his collarbone did not sustain the damage that was initially reported.

"This is also why I said what I said after the game there because we wanted to go through more tests," McDermott said. "To this point those tests have been in our favor and AJ's favor in the fact that it wasn't broken. Just general soreness right now and we'll take it one day at a time."

McDermott said how McCarron comes through the week will largely determine whether he'll play on Sunday against his former club.

Simple answer for signing of P Jon Ryan

He's been an accomplished punter in the league for more than decade. That was more than enough reason for the Bills to sign free agent Jon Ryan on Tuesday.

"Any time there is a good player out there… Brandon (Beane) and his staff do a good job always looking for good players," said McDermott. "We had a chance to sign a good player, it just so happened to be at the punter position. We had an injury with Cory [Carter] unfortunately last week.

"He has been through a number of NFL seasons and he is familiar with Stephen [Hauschka]. They built up a relationship over the years. That is also important at this time in camp. He is going to go out there and put his best foot forward and we will see where it goes."

The club appears to want competition for Colton Schmidt throughout the course of the preseason. After losing that in the form of Carter, who suffered a torn ACL in last week's game at Cleveland, adding Ryan to compete with Schmidt was executed a day after Ryan was released by the Seahawks.

It could just be coincidence in terms of timing, but the last two preseason games figure to play a significant role in who the Bills punter will be for the 2018 season, knowing Ryan's credentials.