As the official practice week opened up for the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, it was announced that Tyrod Taylor cleared through the concussion protocol and is expected to start on Sunday against the New York Jets. Outside of that news, the Bills had plenty of intriguing bits of information come about through the first ‘Media Day’ of the 2017 season.
What are some of the biggest storylines from the Bills’ latest day of work? Five takeaways from One Bills Drive:
1) Big role on the way for LeSean McCoy
- As the Bills approach their first game of the regular season, there has only been speculation on how much they’ll actually use starting running LeSean McCoy. There is little doubt that he’s the most talented offensive player on the team, and figures to factor in heavily to the game plan. On Wednesday, head coach Sean McDermott gave us about as much of an indication that McCoy’s usage could be sky high starting on Sunday. When asked how much of a workload they might entertain giving McCoy, McDermott was pretty clear:
#Bills HC Sean McDermott on LeSean McCoy's workload: "Whatever it takes to win the game."
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 6, 2017
#Bills HC Sean McDermott on McCoy's workload: If he has to play every snap, and he feels good, that's what we'll do.
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 6, 2017
Now, I don’t know about you, but that reads like a head coach that knows what they have in McCoy — and more importantly — knows what’s behind McCoy, too. I think McCoy is poised to have a huge workload going into the season both on the ground and through the air. He’s as explosive a runner as you’ll find in the NFL, but now, the worry will be keeping him fresh and healthy through the entirety of the season with as big of a workload as he’ll have. It will be a delicate balancing act for Sean McDermott and company.
2) Jordan Matthews on track to start
- The Bills have been holding out hope for Jordan Matthews to be ready for the start of the season, and even though it wasn’t a guarantee, the wide receiver seemed to believe all along that he’d be able to play in Week One. Now, with the latest information, not only will Matthews play, but he’s on track to start against the New York Jets. This, of course, is despite the fact that Matthews has yet to actually have a pass in a game thrown to him by any quarterback on the Bills roster. Given their depth, that factor means little. They need him, and there’s no other way around it. Andre Holmes, Brandon Tate, and Kaelin Clay are just not starting caliber wide receivers — and we’re not even sure how much of an impact Zay Jones will have in his rookie season. Matthews will be depended on to play, and play a lot this weekend to try and have a semblance of a passing offense.
3) Cordy Glenn ready to go
- It was a tumultuous summer, to say the least for left tackle Cordy Glenn. He looked like he was in the clear on a couple of separate occasions with his ankle injury, but he just kept having setbacks, and in his words, something didn’t feel right. However, slowly but surely, the left tackle progressed near the end of the preseason leading up to the start of the regular season. After getting some snaps in the preseason finale, it appears the Bills are ready for takeoff with the starting left tackle. Now, that does not mean that we know how much the ankle injury will impact Glenn’s play. When he’s at 100-percent, Glenn is one of the better left tackles in the league. However, with an ankle injury potentially slowing him down, that may put him at a disadvantage against speedier rushers. His ability and health status will be closely monitored throughout the first game for that exact reason, while a perfectly healthy rookie Dion Dawkins watches from the bench.
4) What is the plan at right guard on Sunday?
- The Bills have been fairly vague when it comes to the battle to be the starting right guard. John Miller and Vladimir Ducasse both competed to be the starter, and it was announced on Monday that Miller would be getting the Week One start. However, Sean McDermott said something peculiar on the same day, insinuating that the two will continue to compete at the right guard position. When asked on Wednesday if they would split reps in the game, McDermott said they’re continuing to evaluate the situation, even though he feels “good about John at this point.” He also then brought up the factor of who would be active on game day, which means that perhaps Ducasse doesn’t even dress at all, but if he does, he might even work into some action against the Jets. It continues to be a confusing situation that begs clarity.
5) Jerel Worthy out again
- One of the core pieces to the defensive line rotation might just be in jeopardy of not playing in Week One against the New York Jets. Once again on Wednesday, defensive tackle Jerel Worthy could not participate in practice due to being in the concussion protocol. Given the different stages of the protocol, if Worthy isn’t able to participate in practice in any capacity on Thursday, that would likely mean he’s in trouble of not being able to play against the Jets. The Bills made a move on Tuesday that indicated they were concerned about Worthy by signing Cedric Thornton. If Worthy can’t play, that would make Adolphus Washington the main backup, and it could even slide Ryan Davis inside to help lessen the loss. Outside of Worthy, backup rookie linebacker Tanner Vallejo was the only other non-participant on Wednesday due to a knee injury. At this point, it is unknown whether or not it will keep him from being available for the game on Sunday.