Pieces to Puzzle Point to Possible Opening Day Start for Josh Allen
Information for this report came from various published accounts
Between the solid effort of Josh Allen in a backup role in the first two pre-season games and a collarbone injury suffered by a.J. McCarron in the first half of the Bills exhibition game against Cleveland last week, Allen will start Sunday's exhibition game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills announced Monday on twitter.
Allen, the former Wyoming quarterback and seventh player taken overall in this year's NFL draft, would be in line to start the season opener. Traditionally the third week of the NFL pre-season is a dress rehearsal for the season-opener with starts playing at least two quarters.
The key will be the seriousness of the injury to McCarron, who iniitally was thought to have suffered a broken collarbone. Monday there were reports there was no break after all, and McCarron could return to practice in the near future.
In the first two preseason games, Allen, who played the second half in Game 1 and second quarter in Game 2, is 18-for-32 for 1767 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday, however, will be the first time he will face a team's No. 1 defense. He faced mainly second-team defensive players last week against Cleveland, and in the pre-season opener it was primarily third-team defensive players on the field.
“So far overall, I would say he’s been pretty steady,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said of Allen after the Browns game last Friday. “That’s a great quality. Mentally he’s pretty steady. I think the guys appreciate that for a rookie to have that quality is important. The mental toughness element if you will that’s so important to manage the highs and lows of the NFL.”
buffalobills.com also reported that the Bills' veterans are quickly developing respect for Allen
“You see him in here all the time. He’s always focused on his craft. He’s also a great teammate,” Logan Thomas was quoted as sayin gin the News. “He’s getting to know people and understand them and what makes people tick and it’s easy to respect anybody like that.”
the News also quoted Jeremy Kerly as saying, “He’s coming along well. He’s made some good plays. It’s special to watch him play and that’s why he got picked with the seventh pick. Some of what he can do is rare, and you see it out there at times. It’s going to be fun to watch him grow over the years.”
McDermott, however, is trying to temper expectations.
“There is a lot to be positive about and I love the excitement around that,” said McDermott. “That said, let’s just manage expectations. He’s a young player and let’s just take it one day at a time right now and a lot to be learned still. We’re going into the third week of the pre-season and this will be an opportunity this week for us as a team and Josh as an individual to continue to grow.”