Insta-Graham: Bills courageously conquer Lions in what forever will be recalled as The Wenning Game - The Buffalo News

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Insta-Graham: Bills courageously conquer Lions in what forever will be recalled as The Wenning Game

A year ago, Keith Wenning lost his status as the Cincinnati Bengals' third-string quarterback.

The guy who surpassed him Aug. 28, 2016, in Jacksonville? University at Buffalo grad Joe Licata took over after starter Andy Dalton and backup A.J. McCarron.

Things didn't work out for Licata that night. A solid performance might've given Cincy reason to add him to the practice squad, but he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, his last NFL pass.

Cincy cut Licata the next day and Wenning five days later.

Fast forward to Thursday night, and Licata was preparing Bishop Timon-St. Jude High for its season opener Saturday afternoon against St. Mary's.

Wenning, meanwhile, threw his first NFL pass in 12 months and provided another reminder why preseason football, particularly the fourth game, is a waste of energy.

Licata certainly could've resurfaced and done as well. Wenning, signed four days ago, didn't make any of the other 31 teams wish they'd signed him this spring or summer.

At regular-season prices -- before a New Era Field crowd you could've counted by sight if you cared enough to kill that time, too -- Wenning relieved rookie Nathan Peterman to start the second quarter.

Wenning completed five of his 15 attempts for 41 yards in Buffalo's 27-17 victory.

The performance will be recalled alongside those of Jordan Palmer (four days with Buffalo in 2014) and Matt Leinart (five days with Buffalo in 2013).

Wenning stayed in the game after Lions defensive end Pat O'Connor was penalized 15 yards for driving him to the turf.

Having Peterman go back into a meaningless game would have been less than optimal for Bills coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane.

Wenning was necessary in part because starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and backup T.J. Yates each are recovering from concussions. They suffered their brain injuries against the Philadelphia Eagles in last Saturday's preseason game.

We don't know how serious those concussions were. Peterman might need to play in the Sept. 10 opener against the New York Jets.

Hooray, preseason football!

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