As far as Matt Cassel is concerned, the Buffalo Bills will keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster and he’ll be one of them.
“There’s been no indication” to the contrary, Cassel said Friday after the Bills made 18 roster moves, leaving them with three to go to reach 53 before Saturday’s NFL-imposed 6 p.m. deadline.
For now, Cassel and EJ Manuel are the backups behind Tyrod Taylor, and Cassel said that’s what he’s “planning on” when the regular season begins on Sept. 13 against Indianapolis.
Manuel also is proceeding that way. He took the second-team repetitions in Friday’s practice.
“Obviously, am I disappointed? Of course I am,” Cassel said of losing out in the competition for the starting job. “You’d love to be out there and you would want to be the guy if you had the opportunity.
“But at the same time, Tyrod’s going to get his opportunity. I’m really happy for him and he worked hard. He impressed” the coaches, “obviously, throughout camp. He had a great preseason and now, for me, it’s just getting ready to go.”
Coach Rex Ryan refused to discuss the team’s plans for a No. 2 quarterback.
Asked if it was a challenge trying to figure out which one to keep, Ryan said, “To me, we have had a good body of evidence” through their practice and preseason-game performances, “what we want to look at. But right now, to say final roster spot or all these type of things ... there’s a reason right now that our roster is where it is and there’s a few moves that are still to be made, I get that. But to go and to talk about a specific player, I think it’s not helpful for us and I won’t talk about them.”
As expected, the Bills released fourth-string quarterback Matt Simms along with 15 other players Friday.
Edge rusher IK Enemkpali, who achieved infamy for breaking the jaw of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith a day before the Bills acquired him, was the most notable of the cuts.
In addition, the Bills placed cornerback Leodis McKelvin on the reserve/non-football injury list (meaning he isn’t eligible to play for the first six weeks of the regular season) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson was designated waived/injured.
Ryan said it was “disappointing” not to have McKelvin available for the start of the regular season.
“You talk about a proven player, he is a very proven player,” the coach said. “He’s an outstanding returner, outstanding corner, I love his passion, all that that he plays with. Yeah, we’ll definitely miss that.”
With defensive tackle Marcell Dareus due to be suspended for the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against Indianapolis, the Bills have three more moves to make to get to 53.
The others waived were: offensive guard William Campbell, fullback John Conner, wide receiver Andre Davis, defensive tackle Andre Fluellen, linebacker Quentin Groves, running back Bronson Hill, guard Darryl Johnson, guard Alex Kupper, defensive end BJ Larsen, wide receiver Dezmin Lewis, cornerback Merrill Noel, wide receiver Tobais Palmer, guard Cyril Richardson and running back Cierre Wood.