Bills rookie step up as injuries mount on offense

Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the injuries continue to mount on the offensive line, head coach Sean McDermott knows it complicates being able to continuity heading into the first preseason games and ultimately the regular season.

“That’s the challenge,” he said Monday morning ahead of practice at St. John Fisher College.  “That was the challenge back in the spring, but we will find a way. That’s what we are here for and all we can do is build continuity with the guys we’ve got that are out there. The guys that aren’t out there need to continue to control what they can control and that’s to get healthy and get out there as soon as they can.”

LaAdrian Waddle, who was carted off the field on Sunday, reportedly suffered a torn quad and could miss the entire season.

As the first preseason game approaches, McDermott added there is always concern when players are missing valuable time on the practice field.

“We got to continue to move forward and find a way to manage the reps,” the head coach added.  “That’s probably the biggest thing, going into the game is how we allocate reps and throughout the numbers there with the twos and threes, but we’ll find the way.”

With center Mitch Morse still in concussion protocol, and both guards Spencer Long and Jon Feliciano missing time as well, rookie Cody Ford has demonstrated his versatility, moving from right tackle to right guard.

“To me, it really personifies who we are becoming as a team and the way he was unselfish with it and his approach to it. I love that, he put the team first. We are just looking at things this time of year and trying to put the best five on the field.”

Long and Feliciano were both back in the pads and participated in practice on Monday.

The tight end position has also been hit hard with injuries since training camp started.  Tyler Kroft (foot) remains on the physically unable to perform list while Jason Croom continues to battle a lingering hamstring injury.

Dawson Knox, who the Bills selected in the third round with the 96th overall pick, also remains on the sideline after suffering a hamstring injury on the third day of camp.

The injuries have created an opportunity for 7th round pick Tommy Sweeney, who has taken advantage with the reps he’s received through the first two weeks of the preseason.

“I just think he’s a good football player. He was at the senior bowl and we are out there watching as a staff and had the opportunity to go down there and saw a similar guy to what we are seeing here,” McDermott said when asked if Sweeney’s college numbers masked his abilities.

“He’s extremely smart, goes about his business the right way, does what he’s asked to do, does his job and really the other night the big play he made on what was the four minute was just him doing his job. That’s what we continue to try to press on the team, do your job and do it well.”

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