Sean McDermott is turning to his third different quarterback to start this season in seven games. The Bills head coach announced Wednesday morning that veteran Derek Anderson will start Sunday against the Colts.
"Derek Anderson will be our starter," said McDermott. "Derek is a guy I've been around in Carolina. He brings experience, leadership, presence to the table and he's worked hard the last week and a half to get himself up to speed."
McDermott admitted that critical to his decision to go with Anderson as his starter this week was making sure he had enough of a grasp of the offensive system to effectively execute on Sunday in Indianapolis.
"That's part of what factored into the decision in terms of making sure he was able to get up to speed," McDermott said. "If he was a quarterback that hadn't been around the system it would've been awfully hard to get up to speed in a short amount of time."
The veteran will likely be asked to master only this week's game plan knowing, even with prior work under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Anderson's time in front of Buffalo's offensive playbook has been all of eight days.
Having not had the benefit of a full offseason of training, McDermott also made sure that Anderson is fit enough to handle the demands of playing a full NFL game.
The 35-year old Anderson, who just signed with the team last week, will be making his first NFL start since December 4th, 2016 when he started in place of Carolina starter Cam Newton when he was benched for the first series of a game against the Seahawks for violating a team rule.
Allen does not need surgery
While Josh Allen's elbow injury last Sunday was certainly unwelcome news, there was good news Wednesday. The rookie quarterback will not need surgery on that injury throwing elbow. Coach McDermott laid out the latest on Allen's current status.
"Josh has an elbow sprain and we'll list him as week to week," said McDermott. "There's no plan at this point for surgery, but he will be out this week."
It there is any shred of a silver lining to Allen being sidelined, as McDermott sees it, Allen will benefit from witnessing a veteran running things through the course of the week in preparing for a game as well as performing on Sunday.
"For however long he is out it's important that we handle that the right way as a staff and that Josh handles it the right way so he continues to develop," said McDermott. "The great part about it right now is he can watch a veteran handle things the way they need to be handled. So this will give Josh a front row seat to experience that."
McDermott did affirm that there is an expectation that Allen will play again at some point this season, but would not get into percentages on the likelihood of that taking place. The team did send the MRI results from Allen's arm to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
When asked if he had an issue with the hit by Houston LB Whitney Mercilus on his quarterback that led to the injury, McDermott said he did have a problem with it, but would not get into details.
"I'm not going to go into that. I've addressed that with the powers that be. I'm not going to go any further on that. I've learned my lesson."
Mercilus appeared to lower his helmet as he struck Allen in the pocket putting the crown of his helmet directly on Allen's throwing elbow.
Injury updates on Ducasse, Jones and Murphy
Coming out of last week's game, Vladimir Ducasse sustained a knee injury and did not finish the game against the Texans. Also suffering injuries were special teams captain Taiwan Jones and DE Trent Murphy.
Ducasse and Murphy are both limited in practice today. Murphy's injury will be disclosed when the injury report comes out late Wednesday afternoon.
Jones however, is week to week putting his chances of being in the lineup this week in doubt. He is not practicing today.
If he is not available this week, there would appear to be a good chance that RB Marcus Murphy could take over return duties on kickoffs and punts. The running back has been inactive each of the last two games.
Ray-Ray McCloud was handling kickoffs and punts last week, but he fumbled a kickoff and muffed a punt and was pulled off those duties by special teams coordinator Danny Crossman before the first half was over last week.