The Bills didn’t have any quarterback issues Thursday against the Detroit Lions with rookie Nathan Peterman starting the game 6-for-6 and leading two scoring drives in their 27-17 preseason finale win at New Era Field. But it’s still unclear when starter Tyrod Taylor will be cleared from the concussion protocol.
With that said, Bills General Manager Brandon Beane apparently feels “good about" Taylor’s availability for their Sept. 10 regular-season opener against the New York Jets. “I’ve seen Tyrod, talked to him,” Beane said Thursday on WGR 550’s “John Murphy Show” of Taylor, who was on the field during pregame warmups wearing a hoodie and sweats as he signed autographs. “I think from a layman’s perspective, he seems like he’s doing well, and I feel like he, in his mind, is on track and ready to play that Week 1. And if he’s out there, he’s the guy we want. He’s the starter. He’s got a lot of starts in this league, and we’re looking forward to him leading us out.”
Despite the progress shown by Peterman, coach Sean McDermott reiterated Taylor is still his No. 1. But the coach remained tight-lipped about the veteran’s progress and his status vs. the Jets.
Asked if it’s possible Taylor could start without practicing, McDermott said: “We’ll see. We’ll cross that road when we come to it. A long time between now and game week. It can be tricky, you’ve got all different types of situations out there. And so we evaluate those on an individual basis.”
A quick-paced first quarter ended with a Bills’ lead and big scare. Defensive end Jerel Worthy left early in the first half with a head injury and did not return. After the game, McDermott confirmed the lineman is in the concussion protocol.
Worthy, a fourth-year veteran, had to be helped off the field and into the locker room following a head-to-head collision with another player on the final play of the first quarter with the Bills up 10-0 on the Detroit Lions.
Worthy lay on his back, motionless, for several minutes while team trainers surrounded him at midfield. Concerned teammates stood huddled together nearby.
Eventually, Worthy was helped to his feet and slowly led to the locker room with a trainer holding him up on either side.
In other injury news, offensive tackle Michael Ola had to be helped off the field just minutes into the game because of a left ankle injury.
Ola was hurt after another player rolled up on his foot with 11:49 to go in the first quarter. The training staff taped his ankle on the sideline, but it did little good. He gingerly limped to the locker room with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter and did not return.
Speaking of quarterbacks, new addition Keith Wenning didn’t particularly impress. But considering he signed on Monday, his performance in relief of Peterman wasn’t too shabby: 5 of 15 for 41 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
A solid performance in the fourth and final preseason game often isn’t enough to earn a bubble player a spot on the 53-man roster. But Brandon Reilly made a strong case for sticking around. The Nebraska product continued his strong offseason on Thursday night, making the most of his two catches for 27 yards (including a 15-yard reception). Reilly left the game, but it was unclear why. McDermott said afterward that the rookie is being "evaluated" but didn't specify an injury.
...Local product Jordan Johnson capped a 10-play, 80-yard fourth-quarter scoring drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to put the Bills up 27-3. It was a pretty sweet deal for the Amherst native and UB alum, who won three sectional championships for Sweet Home High School at New Era Field. His head coach also was pleased by his performance.
“Great to see Jordan, a hometown product, score the touchdown at the end,” McDermott said. “He broke the team down (in the huddle). That’s the great part of the preseason and you’re happy when you can see a young man, who’s worked hard, make the most of it.”
…Cornerback Greg Maybin, another rookie looking to make the roster, recorded his second interception of the preseason towards the end of the third quarter. The rookie picked off a pass in the end zone to thwart a potential Lions’ scoring drive.
Cordy Glenn (foot) saw his first preseason action, though in a limited capacity. “I thought he did a really good job. We had him on a rep count,” said McDermott. “And really, it’s about acclimating him to the game and game speeds. We practice fast, but at the same time you want to get him out there on the field so that next week wasn’t his first look at it for the season. …It’s a step in the right direction.”
...It appeared Marcell Dareus might start on defense, but the embattled defensive tackle did not play after all. Said McDermott: “We just wanted to see him get out there and test his hip situation.” … Receiver Jordan Matthews also was in uniform and pads, but didn't see action.