The Buffalo Bills will officially begin the Sean McDermott Era on Thursday night, as they open their 2017 preseason campaign with a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know to watch the preseason Week 1 matchup:
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel, Vikings Markets:
KMSP (FOX/9 – Minneapolis)
WDIO (ABC/10-13 – Duluth)
KTTC (CW/10.2 – Rochester MN)
KEYC (FOX/12.2 – Mankato MN)
KVRR (FOX/15 – Fargo ND)
KNDX (FOX/26 – Bismarck ND)
KXND (FOX/24 – Minot ND)
KSFY (CW/13.2 – Sioux Falls SD)
KGAN (CBS/2 – Cedar Rapids IA)
KCCI (MeTV/8.2 – Des Moines IA)
KPTH (FOX/44 – Sioux City IA)
KGCW (CW/23 – Quad Cities)
WKBT (CBS/8 – La Crosse WI)
KETV (MeTV/7.2 – Omaha)
TV Channel, Bills Markets:
WKBW (ABC/7 – Buffalo)
WHAM (ABC/13 – Rochester)
WTVH (CBS/5 – Syracuse)
Location: New Era Field, Buffalo, NY
Many will vehemently argue against preseason football, and while it’s true that these games can sometimes feel unnecessary, the fact that rookies and backups get so much playing time means there is never a shortage of intriguing players to watch.
On the Vikings side of the ball, that starts with dynamic rookie running back Dalvin Cook. The Florida State product is listed as the Vikings’ unofficial starter as Latavius Murray works his way back from injury, but no matter where he stands on the depth chart, Cook is already proving to be a special player.
“The first thing the veteran players I’ve talked to about him say is, ‘This guy gets it.’” said head coach Mike Zimmer. “He understands protections, he works hard, they see how he interacts in the locker room, and that’s part of it. And then, when you have a special player—like when we got [linebacker Anthony] Barr—they say, ‘Hey, man, this guy is different than other guys.’”
When the Bills have the ball, pay attention to Zay Jones. The prolific wide receiver out of East Carolina, who turned 158 receptions, 1,746 yards and eight touchdowns into a second-round pick, may have slid down the depth chart after the signing of Anquan Boldin, but he still looks set to have a significant role inside this offense.
Both potential starters, Cook and Jones may not see a lot of snaps on Thursday night, but fans should know by now there will be plenty to watch even when they head to the bench. The preseason is all about storylines.