The Buffalo Bills will face the Indianapolis Colts for the team’s first preseason game on Saturday, August 13 at Highmark Stadium. While this matchup will be a major opportunity for players on the edge looking to secure their spot on the 53-man roster, the Bills have no question as to who will be the team’s QB1.
On Thursday, August 11, Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters that they’ve made a final decision on whether or not quarterback Josh Allen would participate in their first preseason game, noting that the 26-year-old would sit this matchup out.
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“Josh is not going to play,” McDermott said.
The reaction on Twitter was mixed. One person tweeted, “I understand not wanting to injure but often players do not play well to start the season if not playing in the preseason,” while another man wrote, “Straight from The Book of Duh.” One fan joked, “I think this is a bad move I don’t know if Josh has what it takes to make the 53 man roster.”
Because the Bills have an intense practice scheduled on Thursday, final decisions on the rest of the team’s starters taking the field against the Colts will wait until Friday. “We’ll take it on an individual basis from there,” McDermott explained. That will “give our trainers, our strength and conditioning staff, and myself a chance to reevaluate where we are, each individual and what they need to do in this game perhaps or not in this game based on how it looks today.”
McDermott said, “I really feel strongly we had a good camp,” and noted how he was really impressed with how the team has come together.
While Allen will watch from the sidelines, Colts’ head coach Frank Reich announced on Thursday that the team’s starting quarterback “Matt Ryan will play the first quarter of Indianapolis’ preseason opener,” ESPN Adam Schefter tweeted.
Several Fights Broke Out at Camp as the Competition for a Roster Spot Heats Up
Since training camp started at St. John Fisher College two weeks ago, three physical fights have erupted between teammates. The latest incident occurred on Thursday, August 4, with Bills’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs throwing some punches at defensive end Greg Rousseau.
Before that, Allen got aggressive with defensive end Jordan Phillips, and wide receiver Tavon Austin got into a fight with safety Siran Neal.
While so many skirmishes at camp could be a cause for concern, as tempers flaring on the field during a regular season game can lead to costly penalties, Allen told the media on Thursday that there’s nothing to worry about, mentioning how he got Phillips an apology gift following their flare up at practice.
“Tempers fly, it was the first day of pads. Camp’s long. I was probably in the wrong there,” Allen said of his personal incident with Phillips. “But, again, just trying to get some guys juiced up ready to go. It’s football. Yeah, so that’s all it was. It was nothing. I got him a box of Pro V1 [golf balls] for pushing him, I felt bad. But it’s all in love. We’re just trying to push each other, trying to be great.”
“Sometimes, it’s necessary,” Allen said of teammates getting physical at practice. “Good teams sometimes fight. Guys want it so bad, guys are very competitive, guys push each other.”
“So you saw a little tempers flare again today,” Allen continued, referring to the dust-up between Diggs and Rousseau. “And again, that’s all because we want to win. We want to work really hard. We want to beat the guys across from us and it doesn’t matter who it is. But it’s good to see the intensity right now coming out from both sides of the football and the whole team because we just want to win football games.”
The Bills Preseason Schedule
After facing the Colts at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, the Bills will take on the Denver Broncos in Orchard park on Saturday, August 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
During Week 3 of the preseason, the Bills will travel to face the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, August 26.