The regular season is almost here. Until then, it's time for more preseason football.
As Rex Ryan said, all starters will sit in the Buffalo Bills' finale at Detroit. Who should you watch? A few names...
Matt Simms: As written today, this is a Super Bowl of sorts for the Buffalo Bills' quarterback, his chance to prove he belongs. Given Matt Cassel's uncertain status, Simms could possibly lock down the No. 3 job with a strong showing here. His accuracy was spot on at the end of Buffalo' 43-19 win over Pittsburgh last week. Now, after getting 11-on-11 scraps in training camp all summer, Simms will go the distance in a game.
The safeties: It's been Aaron Williams and Corey Graham all summer with the No. 1 defense. Duke Williams never threatened for the job. But the Bills will probably be using plenty of Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Bacarri Rambo in Detroit. Meeks believes he can be a starter in the NFL, saying "Just being around it, being in this league, playing football." He'll get that chance against the Lions. After two seasons robbed by injury, he has stayed healthy.
Nick O'Leary: The tight end hasn't stood out in training camp and Chris Gragg keeps making plays in the passing game. In reality, it might be too late for O'Leary to earn a roster spot as the Bills' fourth tight end. The practice squad seems like a much more logical destination for both O'Leary and wide receiver Dezmin Lewis. Not what offensive coordinator Greg Roman probably envisioned --- MarQueis Gray and Gragg have both made many more plays. Still, with so many players likely to sit in this preseason finale, the Bills will get to see a lot of O'Leary. Roman will want to see something out of the former Florida State standout who caught 48 passes for 618 yards with six touchdowns last fall.
Mario Butler: The cornerback whose father was murdered, cut into pieces and put in his own refrigerator has had a very strong camp. In defending the depth of his cornerbacks this week, Ryan brought up Butler's name again. After bouncing around the league, the 6-foot-1, 187-pounder may have a home in Buffalo. He had a nice pass break-up last week in Pittsburgh and likely will see a lot of time tonight at Ford Field. Somehow, Butler found peace as a teen despite never finding out who killed his father --- a state of mind that has carried Butler to the NFL. With Ronald Darby's struggles and Leodis McKelvin's ankle injury, Butler is in line to make the team.
Andre Davis: He should see plenty of action in this one after more wide receivers were hit hard by injuries last week. Marquise Goodwin (ribs) and Deonte Thompson (foot) are down and Chris Hogan (knee) is already sidelined. It all gives Davis a shot at more snaps and he has been steady all summer. The undrafted rookie from South Florida says he hasn't crunched the numbers himself, but believes he's made a good case to coaches. "I catch the ball consistently," he said. "I can go make plays on the deep ball and make plays underneath. I'm just consistent catching the ball."
And that's true. Davis hasn't dropped the ball and has out-played the seventh-rounder Lewis.
Will it be enough for the 53? The practice squad? He has one more game to prove his worth.
Sitting in his locker by other players on the bubble, players who could get cut any day, Davis admits it's been a bit more tense at One Bills Drive.
"Today was a more quiet day in my time being around here," Davis said this week. "I just go about things, whatever happens, happens. I've had my fun here. I'm having fun here. I would love to be here. I'd love to stay. But whatever happens, happens."