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Top 5 things to know about the initial 2022 Bills 53-man roster

Defense. Buffalo Bills Training Camp, August 29, 2022 at One Bills Drive.  Photo by Bill Wippert
Defense. Buffalo Bills Training Camp, August 29, 2022 at One Bills Drive. Photo by Bill Wippert

1 – Tre'Davious White to Reserve/PUP

The long road back from ACL knee surgery for CB Tre'Davious White got a little longer on Tuesday. The Pro Bowl cover man was placed on Reserve/PUP, which means he will be ineligible to play for the first four games of the season.

After those first four weeks White would be eligible to begin practicing with the team. The Bills would then have a three-week window from his first day of practice to elevate him to the active roster making him eligible to play in games again.

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2 – Heavy at defensive back

Buffalo went heavy with their defensive back numbers with their initial 53-man roster. The Bills held onto 10 defensive backs, not counting Tre'Davious White. In total there were four true safeties, five cornerbacks and one hybrid corner-safety in Cam Lewis.

It appeared as the preseason was coming to a close that Lewis was pitted against second-year DB Nick McCloud. Both lined up at cornerback and safety in the preseason, and both played a good deal on special teams. But the fourth-year player out of the University at Buffalo made the cut.

3 – Punter needed

Buffalo has a 53-man roster, but they're missing a player at one position, punter. After releasing Matt Araiza last weekend, the Bills have gone without a punter on the roster knowing a handful were likely to enter the free agent market as well as the waiver wire.

The team also may have to do some roster gymnastics with some injured players needing to put them on the initial roster first before giving them an injured reserve designation, which then would create the roster spot needed to add a punter for the season.

4 – Special teams play tipped the scales

Not only did the Bills once again keep proven veteran players on special teams like Taiwan Jones and Tyler Matakevich, but in a number of position battles a player's abilities on special teams tipped the scales in his favor. Receiver Jake Kumerow's effectiveness and experience on special teams seemed to give him an edge over a player with less experience on teams in receiver Isaiah Hodgins.

Similar conclusions could be reached on special teams participants like TEs Quintin Morris and Tommy Sweeney, who were kept over O.J. Howard, who did not line up on special teams. Rookie LB Baylon Spector was another player who demonstrated progress on special teams and likely earned a roster spot because it was an area where he may get a chance to contribute before he sees time on the field on defense.

5 – Seven receivers on the roster

The last couple of years the Bills have gone through most of the season with six receivers on the active roster. As this year's initial roster was set, there are seven on the roster.

Jamison Crowder, Gabe Davis, Stefon Diggs, Jake Kumerow, Isaiah McKenzie, Khalil Shakir, and Marquez Stevenson.

Stevenson, however, underwent foot surgery after sustaining an injury early in training camp. He could be given a different designation after spending a day on the active roster going forward.

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