PITTSFORD — One practice in and he's already hurt.
It's probably not anything catastrophic, but new Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews suffered a chest injury in his first practice with the team. He completed practice - it wasn't clear when he suffered the injury - but wasn't made available to media afterward because the chest was being evaluated.
This most recent development within the Bills' wide receiving corps probably isn't the most comforting to Bills fans, especially given the shocking departure of their top threat across the country to Los Angeles and the unease that followed. Matthews' injury doesn't seem to be serious since he didn't miss any field time Sunday, but the former Philadelphia Eagle's condition will be something to monitor as the regular season nears.
Matthews, entering his fourth year out of Vanderbilt, figures to be the Bills' top wideout with rookie Zay Jones and recent signee Anquan Boldin also in the fold. All three have made a living mainly in the slot, and first-year head coach Sean McDermott seemed confident Matthews will gel with the other two first-year Bills just fine.
"Jordan's been around a couple different systems and with a couple different quarterbacks," McDermott said before practice Sunday. "... So he's done a nice job over his career adapting."
Here's what else we learned on Day 13 of training camp.
1. How long will it take Matthews and Gaines to get up to speed?
With only four days until playing in their first game for the Bills, the team's two new acquisitions have some catching up to do. Matthews, if healthy, will likely start against his former team on Thursday and Gaines looks to be factoring into the second line of cornerbacks so far.
"Right now it's about terminology and getting comfortable so that they can go out there and execute and play fast," McDermott said. "Both were at walkthrough this morning, have done a nice job of getting up to speed to this point. That'll be a process as we go through the next couple of days as well.
"Both of these players have been around different systems ... really just probably the vocabulary ... 'What do the Buffalo Bills call a curl route? One teams calls it X, the other team calls it Y.' So just that part of it on the front end is probably the biggest hurdle."
2. A starting corner leaves practice early
In addition to the injury updates McDermott provided before practice, cornerback Shareece Wright left the field early Sunday with a trainer and didn't return. According to the Bills, Wright suffered a right thumb injury. With former starter Ronald Darby's departure to Philadelphia in the E.J. Gaines trade, Wright had been receiving first-team reps at cornerback the last two practices.
3. Nathan Peterman is now his jersey number on the depth chart
T.J. Yates was the one who told the rookie they'd be switching places in the quarterback pecking order. Peterman took the vast majority of second-team reps on Sunday three days after throwing his first NFL touchdown against the Vikings. The rookie from Pittsburgh went 13-of-25 in the air for 112 yards and one score on Thursday, while Yates went 6-of-11 for 48 yards. Yates struggled on Sunday, lowlighted by a short out route that he threw right at the feet of an open receiver.
4. Brandon Tate made an unreal catch
Not many words can do this catch justice. Peterman heaved the ball downfield and fellow wideout Philly Brown was Tate's main obstacle while corralling the bomb with one hand in coverage. Have a look for yourself.
Brandon Tate. Just wow. 👀 pic.twitter.com/aZpr7Qqstf
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 13, 2017
5. There's a baby named after Bills punter Colton Schmidt
While Hall of Fame Bills quarterback Jim Kelly put a sharpie to a baby's bare head, the child's mom was asked what her son's name was. "Colton!" she responded, "like Colton Schmidt!" You'd probably be hard-pressed to find another child in the world named after a punter, but Kelly spotted the one and it made for a cool moment near the end of practice.
6. What's up next for the Bills?
The Bills are back out at St. John Fisher at 8:45 Monday morning, with practice open to the public and no ticket required. Only two sessions remain at St. John Fisher. Buffalo plays at Philadelphia at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Game Two of the preseason.