ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It was shirsey day at One Bills Drive as the team took the field for the first time after returning home from their successful week in Carolina.
A light practice coincided with the light wardrobe and saw injured Mitch Morse and Connor McDermott remain in concussion protocol, but doing light work on the field, while Russel Bodine, Ty Nsekhe, Dawson Knox, and Jason Croom participated to varying degrees.
Neither Garrett McGhin and Cam Lewis practiced after sustaining injuries during Friday night's preseason contest with the Panthers. Lewis is in concussion protocol.
Before practice, Bills coach Sean McDermott was asked about Trent Murphy, who recorded a sack against the Panthers and has drawn praise for his form so far this preseason. He said they anticipated Murphy working through some difficult times last year.
“What we see now, and what we saw when he got back here in the spring, was a player that had worked," McDermott said. "Not that he didn’t before, but he wasn’t thinking about just solely his knee. Now he’s thinking about his whole body, and he can focus on himself with that in mind, as opposed to just one area of his body.
“He’s more comfortable in the system, it appears, as well. He came from a different system than we have here, and he’s been a great addition to our team, and he continues to grow in understanding his role in this defense and how you have to play.”
Another development from Friday was the team clearly taking an extended look at some of their depth options at wide receiver.
McDermott elaborated: “I think some of those guys deserve opportunities to get a little more reps and run. Regardless of the size, we’re looking for good football players that make plays and are willing to put the team first and block in the run game. At the end of the day, it’s what happens with the offense. Are we putting points on the board?"
On of those receivers trying to make the final 53-man roster is Duke Williams, who used the extended opportunity to catch a second-quarter touchdown pass from Matt Barkley.
“It felt good to be out there," he said. "We were on rhythm. We did a good two-minute drill, and we all played as a team. We dominated together, and we put points up.”
This week the Bills will practice at home through Wednesday before traveling to face the Lions in Detroit for their third preseason contest Friday night.