The Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts will be a game-time decision, coach Sean McDermott said Friday.
The uncertainty continues to center around Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a knee injury in last Sunday's loss against the New England Patriots. He is listed as questionable and has practiced only on a limited basis the past two days.
If Taylor doesn't start, rookie Nathan Peterman will get the nod.
McDermott said the assessment of Taylor's status wouldn't be limited to determining whether he would start, adding Taylor could "potentially" be active Sunday as a backup.
How much does the fact Taylor missed Wednesday's practice and has only done two days of limited work factor in the decision of whether he starts?
"A little bit," McDermott said. "You always want players getting the full complement of reps through the week. Tyrod, though, that said, he’s built up a tremendous amount of reps, muscle memory, and timing with the receivers. ... I don’t worry about it all that much because of the work he’s put in up to this point in time."
In making the final decision, McDermott said he would rely on Taylor's feedback about how he's feeling and his ability to function. He also said he wouldn't play him if there was any risk of making the injury worse.
"Just like it is with most any position, just the give and take of the communication," the coach said. "Then, being able to put my eyes on it and seeing him execute. ... I think every day he gets a little bit better. Like any injury, there is some soreness immediately after a game. Then, as the week wears on, you get a little bit better each and every day. Our trainers do a good job with that, too."
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said the team is preparing for both quarterbacks.
"There are going to be things that we have up and we can call if Tyrod is in there, and then there are some things that we don’t have to utilize," Pagano said. "That’s not taking anything away from (Nathan) Peterman. So, we’ve addressed it. We’ve prepared the plan accordingly based on that, and you’re going to have to make adjustments along the way as well. So, ready for either guy.”
Also questionable for the Bills are defensive tackle Kyle Williams (groin), cornerback Leonard Johnson (knee), and offensive tackles Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle) and Seantrel Henderson (back).
Guard John Miller (ankle) is out.
McDermott said he expected Williams and backup running back Travaris Cadet, who is out of concussion protocol, to play Sunday. The coach also said he felt "pretty good" about the chances of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin playing.
McDermott said he thought Glenn "made some good progress this week so far, so we'll see."
McDermott spoke extensively about how impressed he is with Peterman's maturity and how the rookie has generally carried himself this season, particularly in light of his five-interception disaster during his first NFL start against the Los Angeles Chargers last month.
"The great thing about Nathan — one of the great things — is he continues to be poised, composed, and has a great deal of balance in his life," McDermott said. "He’s steady, which is a little bit unusual for a young player, in particular at the quarterback position. When I say steady, I mean mentally. He’s been through things before over the course of his career, over the course of his life that have equipped him to handle different things now in his life.
"We all know you get tested in this league. We’ve talked about it at the team level what happens. He’s done a good job up to this point, and I’m confident he’ll continue to do a good job in that area. ... He has a set of core values that really steady him as well as great support from his family (and) his wife. At that position ... it’s the center of attention for every team, so he’s done a nice job there, yeah."