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Buffalo Bills begin padded practices

The Buffalo Bills shifted to the next phase of training camp on Monday, putting on the pads for the first time.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17), left, sprints with the ball in a running drill during the first day of NFL football training camp with pads on at ADPRO Sports Training Center outdoor field in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (James P. McCoy/The Buffalo News via AP, Pool)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Around this time the Buffalo Bills were supposed to be going over film from their first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, but instead they just threw on the pads for the first time. The Bills haven’t worn pads since the Houston Texans playoff game.

Though this has been a unique training camp, considering the coronavirus pandemic, coaches and players have embraced it.

“It’s the return to real football,” said head coach Sean McDermott.

“Man, it felt good” said linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. “Guys were anxious to get out there. You play football with pads, so this was the first time we been in pads since the playoff game.”

The last few weeks, the Bills have only been able to hold OTA style practices and some conditioning drills, which isn't the way that McDermott envisioned the start of the season.

“To be out there and just to fly around and actually hit each other, I mean that’s the game that we play,” said Edmunds. “You know it’s going to take some getting use because it’s really just been awhile since we been out there competing with one another.”

From first glance it also looked like newcomer Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen's chemistry continues to develop. Josh Allen threw multiple good balls to Diggs.

Veteran newcomer Josh Norman is also fitting in comfortably.

McDermott had the whole team tackling on Monday, including the offense/offensive line.

McDermott said the team will go live during practice. It’s normal for them to do so considering there is no preseason. McDermott told the media that it’s important to hit the fundamentals while staying healthy.

The Bills will have 14 padded practices including Monday.