Buffalo Bills rookie offensive lineman Duke Preston got his first taste of NFL regular-season action, though it came a little later than he expected. He practiced with the starters most of the week because right guard Chris Villarrial injured his ankle.
Villarrial started the game, but Preston replaced him late in the second quarter and played the rest of the game.
"I was ready to go all week because I had taken so many reps," Preston said. "But standing on the sideline was tough for me, wondering if I was going to get in and watching to see if Chris was going to make it. In the end I was just happy to get a chance to play and help the team."
The Bills' offensive line did not suffer a letdown with Preston in the game. He made several nice blocks, didn't commit any penalties and appeared to execute every assignment.
"Duke stepped right in with Chris out and we thought that may be a situation that comes up," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said. "I think Duke was prepared for it. It was obvious. I didn't hear his name on the headset very often, so he must have done pretty well."
Preston said the speed of a preseason game is nothing like the real thing.
"It's for real out there. It's for keeps," he said. "Everything is magnified and everybody is turning up the intensity a little bit more. It was definitely a big difference, so it's good to get that first one under my belt."