ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — WGRZ Bills/NFL Insider Vic Carucci answers a few questions before the Buffalo Bills open training camp July 24.
Question: Who will be the No. 2 quarterback?
Answer: Case Keenum. A solid case can be made that he’s the most underrated of the Bills’ offseason acquisitions.
Though it’s easy to assume that other than when the Bills have a comfortable lead in the closing minutes/seconds, Josh Allen will always be at QB, that’s hardly a guarantee. Injuries happen in a sport with a 100-percent injury rate, and as General Manager Brandon Beane has pointed out repeatedly, Allen’s propensity to run with the ball puts him at greater risk.
Beane fully had that in mind when he signed Keenum, who has the experience and solid credentials as an occasional NFL starter. Keenum is exceptionally bright and talented enough to sufficiently step in for multiple games, if necessary.
The Bills also brought back Matt Barkley, whose presence in the quarterback room is a plus because of his supportive nature and history with Allen from their earlier time as teammates.
However, the Bills likely will carry only two quarterbacks on the active roster. That means Barkley will probably end up on their practice squad.
Question: Will Cody Ford survive his make-or-break training camp?
Answer: I’m leaning against that. If I’m right, this will be a particularly painful decision for Beane.
Beane envisioned the former Oklahoma standout becoming a long-term fixture on the Bills’ offensive line. That was what prompted Beane to trade up to make Ford a second-round draft pick in 2019.
Watching Ford as a rookie, when he did a mostly nice job rotating at right tackle with Ty Nsekhe, Beane and the rest of the Bills’ decision-makers had to have been encouraged about Ford’s future. But that took a negative turn the past two seasons, as Ford largely struggled while working inside.
In his three-year career, he has made only 28 starts and played in a total of 38 games, with knee surgery limiting him to only seven games in 2020. Seven of Ford’s starts came in 2021, and perhaps the most telling development of his time with the Bills was being benched last year after a dreadful showing against Washington.
It's possible new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer could find a way to tap into the qualities the Bills saw in Ford as a college player and help Ford stage a comeback entering the final year of his rookie contract.