Bills still 'working through' the quarterback competition

August 27, 2018

Orchard Park, NY (WGR550) - The Buffalo Bills went through a very light practice Monday afternoon and, to no one’s surprise, head coach Sean McDermott declined to name a starting quarterback either for this Thursday’s preseason finale or the regular season opener in 13 days.

“No further quarterback developments from last night at this point,” he told reporters prior to Monday afternoon’s practice. “We’re still coming off the game, and again, [it is] a little bit unique [having practice] the next day and not having a day off. So we’re still coming off the game and going through and processing all of that information right now.

“[We] want to get through this practice first and then certainly make sure we have our ducks in a row for this game and then move forward.”

All three of the team’s quarterbacks - Josh Allen, Nathan Peterman, and A.J. McCarron - have started one preseason game. The fourth and final game is this Thursday night at Chicago, a game where starters typically sit. But without knowing who the regular season starter will be, and also trying to stay as healthy as possible for Week 1, it presents some interesting decisions for McDermott and his coaching staff.

“We’re still working through that,” the head coach said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure we’re healthy going into this season as well, so there’s a delicate balance there.”

After injuring his shoulder in preseason game No. 2 in Cleveland, McCarron was dressed and available to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but was the only quarterback not to play. Allen started and went 6-for-12 for 34 yards. Peterman relieved him just before halftime as Allen entered the concussion protocol, and finished the game, going 16-for-21 for 200 yards and a touchdown. For the preseason, Peterman has completed 33 of 44 pass attempts for an impressive 80.4-percent completion rate.

Many believe Peterman has done enough to earn the starting job September 9 at the Baltimore Ravens, but McDermott is still letting the competition play out, even while acknowledging it’s not the most ideal situation to still be figuring that out.

“Well, I think the ultimate goal is that you know who your starting quarterback is when you come into the spring and into the fall camp,” he said. “That’s the ideal. We’re still working through that with our situation, which is to be expected a little bit with drafting Josh this year and having a young player in Nate and then A.J. coming in through free agency. There’s been good competition there and all three have played at a high level.”

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