Quick Hits: Bills down two tight ends

Rookie tight end Dawson Knox injured his hamstring on Saturday according to head coach Sean McDermott.
Rookie tight end Dawson Knox injured his hamstring on Saturday according to head coach Sean McDermott.

1. Dawson Knox and Jason Croom both out

Tight ends Dawson Knox and Jason Croom will both be out with hamstring injuries, head coach Sean McDermott announced on Sunday. Knox hurt his hamstring during Saturday’s practice while Croom has been struggling with his since OTAs.

“We’re a little short-handed at the tight end position, but we’ll make the most of the opportunities here with what we’ve gathered,” McDermott said.

Knox and Croom are the latest tight ends to suffer an injury. Tyler Kroft was placed on the PUP list at the start of camp after suffering a foot injury at the beginning of OTAs.

Remaining in Buffalo’s healthy tight end group is veteran Lee Smith, rookies Tommy Sweeney and Nate Becker, and second-year player Keith Towbridge.

Veterans Mitch Morse and Lorenzo Alexander were not full participants in practice on Sunday. The two were kept off to the side for a maintenance day.

2. First look at Ed Oliver and team in pads

The Bills put on pads for the first time this season on Saturday. Buffalo was able to be more physical during practice on Saturday which led to a slight scuffle between Dawson Knox and Micah Hyde. Still, McDermott believes the team has a lot to improve on in upcoming workouts.

“I think overall, as a team we didn’t do a good enough job of carrying forward our fundamentals that we started to build in the spring,” McDermott said. “It started with the first couple of days and not just with the shells now the whole team in terms of fundamentals, technique, so we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area.”

Standing out to McDermott was rookie and first-round pick Ed Oliver. Oliver, known for his tenacity and ability to overpower opponents at the college level, now has to adapt to the NFL game.

“I did see him show up there. I felt his presence around the pocket which was good. So we just have to continue to grow and have a mindset of ‘Hey, what I did in college I may not be able to do in the NFL,’” McDermott said.

Oliver was consistently doubled and triple-teams at the point of attack in college. But, he has a tough task ahead of him going against a premier blockers in the NFL.

3. McDermott impressed with Cody Ford’s mentality

Buffalo traded up to grab the tackle out of Oklahoma in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Cody Ford has impressed coaches so far with his ability at the right tackle position, prompting him to play exclusively with the first team. His physical traits weren’t the only reason Buffalo grabbed him.

“We do like his mentality, which was not a surprise,” McDermott said. “With Brandon and his staff part of the evaluation was the physical toughness and the mental toughness as well. So I think early all the signs are there.”

McDermott added that the Bills try to be as thorough as they can with their evaluations and figuring out players the best they can before the draft.

McDermott was also impressed that when a fight broke out on Saturday Ford was one of the first ones in there to break it up. But he acknowledged that Ford still has a lot of work to do like any other rookie.

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