Bills coach Rex Ryan said Thursday that he expects first-round pick Shaq Lawson to play Sunday against Miami, making his NFL debut after spending the minimum six weeks on the physically unable to perform list.
“Oh yeah. I think he’s going to play," Ryan said. "I’ve seen enough. He looks pretty darn good out there. He’s flying around and looks like the guy we drafted, the guy we wanted him to be.
"There’s a reason we took him in the first round and he’s showing that on the practice field."
Lawson needed surgery on his right shoulder during the offseason and opened the year on the PUP, which kept him out until this week. He had his first NFL practice Wednesday and is eligible to play for the first time Sunday, though Ryan has reiterated that Lorenzo Alexander will remain the starter at outside linebacker.
The Bills will need to make a move to open a roster spot for Lawson. Ryan hinted last week that the spot could come from an offensive lineman, since the Bills have 11 of them on the 53-man roster.
"I’m pretty sure [he'll play]," Ryan said. "I mean, I’m overstepping my bounds by saying he’s going to be up – I just need one phone call to Whales (general manager Doug Whaley) and he’s going to be up."