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It's go time! Observations from One Bills Drive as players practice in pads for first time

1015800117 McCoy Sports Bills
Posted at 5:51 PM, Aug 17, 2020

ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — It's hard to miss Stefon Diggs when watching the Buffalo Bills on the practice field. For the first time in 2020, reporters were able to get a firsthand look at the new Bills wide receiver on the practice field with pads on. He didn't disappoint.

We'll do our best not to get carried away, after all, it was just one day of practice. But Diggs looks like a game-changer when he's on the field. Josh Allen looked for him early and often Monday, and the two seemed to be on the same page.

While Diggs is a legitimate threat who should get the majority of the targets, his addition should also help fellow wideouts John Brown and Cole Beasley, who also looked strong during the first padded practice.

Other observations from Monday's practice:

Getting crowded

With the addition of Diggs, the wide receiver room is quite crowded. While that isn't breaking news, it's obvious there just won't be enough targets to go around. This will make the competition for the last few spots that much more interesting. I'd imagine Diggs, Brown, Beasley, and Gabe Davis are roster locks. Andre Roberts, who contributes mostly on special teams, would be next on the list behind the aforementioned players. That would leave guys like Duke Williams, Isaiah McKenzie, Isaiah Hodgins, and Robert Foster fighting for one or two roster spots.

Kicker competition

During the portion of practice we attended, only rookie Tyler Bass attempted field goals. He was six-for-nine on his attempts. Veteran Stephen Hauschka did not have an attempt while we watched practice.

We'll do it live!

With no preseason games in 2020, these padded practices are going to be that much more important. On Monday, head coach Sean McDermott said he plans to "go live" at practice more often than in years past. For the coaching staff, there will be a delicate balance of getting in work and not risking potential injury as camp rolls along these next few weeks.

Early injuries

Ed Oliver [sore hip], Levi Wallace [sore back], Tommy Sweeney [foot], and Jon Feliciano [chest] all missed practice Monday.

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