All week long head coach Sean McDermott stated the defensive staff was working through their decision on who would start at right cornerback opposite Tre'Davious White. It was down to veteran Vontae Davis and Phillip Gaines. The decision was revealed with the release of the Bills inactive list as Davis is one of Buffalo's seven inactive players for their season opener against the Ravens.
Davis practiced all week, but through training camp and the preseason, the veteran corner still was not moving with the fluidity typically seen from him throughout his career. Davis had surgery on a torn groin last November, and though he made encouraging progress through the offseason, he isn't quite back to starting form.
As a result, Phillip Gaines, a four-year veteran signed in free agency this past spring, will start at right cornerback.
Gaines was also part of a competition for the Bills nickel corner job. That duty will go to rookie fourth-round pick Taron Johnson.
Johnson appeared to be ahead of Gaines for the role coming out of the preseason, but with Davis not available Gaines is needed as the necessary plug in at right cornerback.
Juggling the responsibilities of the two positions isn't easy, but Gaines kept a level head through his preparation this week.
"Each position has different responsibilities," said Gaines of cornerback and slot corner. "Each position has its own level of thinking so when you're on the corner you've got to handle this, when you're inside you've got to handle that. But when the ball is in the air you've just got to make a play on it."
Set to be the team's fourth cornerback today is Lafayette Pitts.
Here are Buffalo's other inactives for today's opener against the Ravens.
CB Vontae Davis
TE Khari Lee
CB Ryan Lewis
WR Ray-Ray McCloud III
OL Conor McDermott
LB Julian Stanford
G Wyatt Teller