The Bills made a move at punter on Tuesday signing Matt Darr and releasing Colton Schmidt. Darr will be Buffalo’s third punter this season with rookie Corey Bojorquez on injured reserve.
Head coach Sean McDermott explained how they have been seeking better play at the punter position all season.
“The quality of the punting this year has been an issue and remains an issue,” he said. “That ties into field position so we’ve got to find an answer here. We obviously made the move we made. We feel like we have to continue to find better quality than what we’ve had.”
Darr hasn’t been in an NFL regular season game since 2016, but he’ll be punting in familiar confines on Sunday. His only two seasons in the NFL were with the Dolphins during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Foster’s wake-up call
Rookie Robert Foster made the Bills 53-man roster when the season opened Week 1. By Week 7 however, his uneven performance and lack of production led to his release on Oct. 18th. Although he was signed to the Bills practice squad the next day, the transaction served as clear notice to him that he had to redouble his efforts to carve out an NFL career.
“Yeah it was a wake-up call,” said McDermott when asked about Foster’s demotion. “Sometimes players need a wake-up call. Life in the NFL, as we onboard these young players, life in the NFL… you’re not on scholarship. Some guys need to understand that. There’s an onboarding process that we go through. Some players already have it. Some players it takes more time and unfortunately some players never get it.”
Fortunately, for Foster, he made the most of his time on the practice squad and come Week 10 earned a call-up to the active roster. What he’s done with that opportunity is produce. In the last two games, Foster has put up five receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown.
“We just have to continue to develop these guys. Sometimes it takes time and sometimes some guys get it quicker than others,” said McDermott. “Foster is a good example. An undrafted guy out of Alabama who didn’t play a whole lot there. We continue to work with these men on and off the field and when given the opportunity what are you going to do with it?
“His understanding that this is serious and in a moment’s notice things change,” McDermott said. “This is the NFL and there are a million people outside the gate who want our jobs. I really appreciate the way he has approached it since he has come back.”
Buffalo’s injury list is getting shorter, but there are still some players on the mend. Not practicing Wednesday are John Miller, who left last week’s game with an abdominal strain. CB Lafayette Pitts is also on the sidelines after suffering a concussion in last Sunday’s win.
Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams are getting their usual veteran rest days.
Limited in practice today are QB Derek Anderson (concussion protocol), Charles Clay (hamstring) and Taron Johnson (shoulder).
For Clay it’s the first time he’s participating in practice since suffering the hamstring injury in Week 9 against Chicago.