With teams navigating preseason game snaps for the first time in two years, some are planning to get their starters reps no matter who they are. Others are taking a more cautious approach since these games don’t count.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday morning that his team is planning on splitting the difference — select starters will be on the field this week in Friday’s preseason matchup with the Lions. But quarterback Josh Allen won’t be among them.
“It’s going to be kind of on an individual basis so a number of the starters won’t play,” McDermott said in his press conference. “There will be some starters that do play and then it’ll go from there, really.”
Asked specifically about Allen, McDermott said, “No, he will not play.”
Allen just signed a six-year extension with $100 million fully guaranteed at signing, so there isn’t necessarily much that the Bills need to see from the quarterback prior to Week One. But it is an interesting contrast with the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, as head coach Bruce Arians said he plans to play 44-year-old Tom Brady for a drive or two in Saturday’s contest against the Bengals.
McDermott added that while Buffalo has a plan for how they’ll proceed with preseason playing time, that is subject to change through the rest of August.
“It’s kind of hard to project right now,” McDermott said. “For this one, we felt like it was important to take a good look at these young players in particular to give them their due. And this is the first time that with the cuts each week basically after each game, we want to make sure we have a good handle on who we have and what we need to do going forward.”
This year, rosters must be reduced to 85 players on Aug. 17 and 80 players on Aug. 24 before the cut down to 53 on Aug. 31.