How long should the starters play against the Lions?

August 23, 2019

Louie DiBiase
Twitter: @DiBiaseLOE


Week 3 of the NFL preseason has traditionally been the week teams play their starters through, at least, the first half. It has often been considered the "tune up" game before the start of the regular season. 

While that has been the case for a significant amount of time, serious injuries to key players seemingly happen every year in the preseason. 

For example, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton went down with a foot injury on Thursday night against the New England Patriots. 

Oh no...

Cam Newton leaves the game with an injury after being sacked.

— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) August 23, 2019

Getting more opportunities to knock the rust off and get up to game-speed can be useful, especially for young players. But do fans believe the risk is worth the reward? 

Fans took to Twitter on Thursday night to debate how long the Bills' starters should play on Friday against the Detroit Lions:


Don't risk it to get the biscuit?:

A large portion of fans have seen enough of Josh Allen and company through two games already. 

How about not even getting on the plane to Detroit

— preseason sucks (@BuffaloWins) August 23, 2019

Not at all. Only bad things can happen to guys that we plan to start. I want to see the rookies.

— Mike (@mikalacat12000) August 23, 2019

Zero snaps, nothing good can happen in the preseason

— Bill (@cruzer1977) August 23, 2019

An element that also plays a big role in playing time is the emergence of joint-practices. Many coaches around the league prefer the controlled environment of these practices as opposed to the unpredictable preseason. 

The Bills worked with the Panthers last week for multiple practices. It is a good way to get work in against another team while lowering the risk of injury. 


Different playing time for each side of the ball:

Some contributors to the discussion believe one side of the ball may need more work than the other. 

Defense none, josh and the offense maybe a couple series because josh can use the reps because he’s young and more continuity with the receivers

— Scott Goode (@ScottyDunleavy) August 23, 2019

Only offense, no defense. 2-3 series depending on how they move the ball

— G-Show (@BSS_GShow) August 23, 2019


Getting a bit more work in:

As a few weeks separate the Bills from the regular season opener, a group of fans want to see starters get on the field to fully prepare for the New York Jets.

Half + one series. They aren't the Patriots. They need to be ready week 1

— Raiders, Boys, Bills (@williamw43) August 23, 2019

A quarter. Live reps and confidence are important. Just as likely to get hurt when the games matter and this O line needs to gel and have reps together. If team is prepared we can start 3-0

— Sticks (@teachingsticky) August 23, 2019

The whole game, they need the work. They get real game situations, like complex defenses to help make better reads.

— Nick (@nspinell8) August 23, 2019


Author's opinions:

The risk of injury is too great to put the first-team in harms way. Allen and the offense have looked good enough to rest up until Week 1 against the Jets. 

Two weeks of preseason action, joint-practices against the Panthers, and a month of training camp should do the trick. 

If a majority of fans had their way, there wouldn't even be a Week 3 for the Bills to play. 


To participate in our late night discussions, follow us on Twitter: @WGR550