Offensive line back together at Bills training camp

The entire offensive line group practices for first time all camp

Pittsford, N.Y. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills held their second-to-last training camp practice at St. John Fisher University on Wednesday, and for the first time all camp, the entire offensive line was a part of it.

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Other than guard Ike Boettger, who remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as he recovers from a torn Achilles, every offensive lineman on the active roster was in uniform and appeared to be a full participant.

That included Spencer Brown, who played right tackle with the first-team offense, and Rodger Saffold, who was with that unit at left guard.

Dion Dawkins (left tackle), Mitch Morse (center), and Ryan Bates (right guard) rounded out the group.

Tommy Sweeney
Photo credit Jamie Germano - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

Tight ends shine

While the presence of the entire line was notable, it was a couple of tight ends battling for roster spots who made head-turning plays on offense.

First it was quarterback Case Keenum firing a pass to Quintin Morris as he was running across the field. The pass was a bit high and behind Morris, but the second-year player somehow was able to bring it in as he jumped and turned his body with his back basically parallel to the ground. Morris then fell to the grass in that same position.

There were several “ooohs” and “aaahs” from the crowd as it happened.

Later in 11-on-11 red zone work, Keenum threw another ball, this time to Tommy Sweeney, who was heading towards the back corner of the end zone. Sweeney had to turn to his back shoulder to catch it, while having Siran Neal draped on him. The fourth-year tight end not only turned, but had to rise up and make the grab, then fell down in bounds for the touchdown.

The entire offense poured off the nearby sideline to congratulate Sweeney and celebrate the score.

It was the second eyebrow-raising catch of the day for Sweeney, who has had an impressive camp overall and continues to push for a backup tight end role on the 53-man roster.

James Cook
Photo credit Mark Konezny - USA TODAY Sports

Cook explosive

The team practiced without actual pads on the lower half and with only light contact, and in that setting, running backs usually look really good. But James Cook has continued to look explosive once he gets the ball in his hands.

The 2022 second-round rookie has such great, and sudden change of direction. The rookie was noticeable on the field on Wednesday, whether catching a pass or running the ball.

Matt Milano
Photo credit Rich Barnes - USA TODAY Sports


Two of the better defensive plays of the day were turned in on back-to-back snaps.

First up was linebacker Matt Milano following Cook out of the backfield all the way into the end zone and never lost a step as he broke up a well-placed ball that would have been a touchdown.

Then on the very next play, cornerback Taron Johnson made a great break on a ball intended for Gabriel Davis near the goal line and got his hands perfectly in position to bat it away.

Matt Araiza and Tyler Bass
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

Kicking competition?

We talk a lot about the punter competition, but what about kicker? There's only one on the roster - Tyler Bass.

However, a few others got a chance to show what they could do on Wednesday.

Safety Micah Hyde, quarterback Matt Barkley, and tight end Dawson Knox all connected from 33 yards out. Quarterback Case Keenum was the holder for all three.

Not everyone in the crowd noticed who was actually kicking, but those who did gave big roars when the kicks went through.

Isaiah McKenzie
Photo credit Shawn Dowd - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

Participation report

Wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Khalil Shakir both returned to the field on Wednesday, along with Johnson, who had all missed a few days with soreness.

However, wide receiver Tavon Austin missed Wednesday for the same reason, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a veteran rest day.

Linebacker Tyrel Dodson, once again, didn’t practice. Cornerback Tim Harris was also out.

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Next up

The team will hold their final training camp practice of 2022 at St. John Fisher on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. ET. It is open to the public, but a ticket is required to attend.

Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports

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