Buffalo Bills training camp lookahead: 3 players to watch
Buffalo Bills training camp at Saint John Fisher is approaching fast. The team begins practice on Wednesday July 26 and will ramp up activities over the next two plus weeks leading into the first preseason game of the year.
As that happens, some guys will look to solidify themselves and become integrals pieces on both side of the ball. Here are three worth keeping an eye on.
Khalil Shakir, WR – 2nd Year
As Isaiah McKenzie had trouble holding onto the slot receiver role, Shakir occasionally filled that void. Perhaps his best game was week five against the Steelers, playing in place of the injured McKenzie. In those four quarters, Josh Allen threw the ball his way five times; he caught three of those, including the first and only touchdown of his rookie season. He’d play he played in eleven games the rest of the regular season finishing with ten receptions for 161 yards on eleven targets. With him playing at least 25% of offensive snaps in two of the final three regular season games, expect him to be getting a lot of reps at camp.
Terrel Bernard, LB – 2nd year
It’s no secret the departure of Tremaine Edmunds hurt the Bills secondary. How Buffalo fills that void will be interesting. We could see Terrel Bernard rotated into the mix more along with Baylon Spector, especially in different defensive sets. Last year, he played 110 defensive snaps in six games, including 59 in week nine against the Jets. His progress will be worth monitoring as training camp goes on.
Nyheim Hines, RB – 6th year
Running backs will be an intriguing position to watch during camp. How Nyheim Hines fits Buffalo’s offense will be as well, considering the dual threat he possesses. Upon trading for him ahead of the deadline, however, he wound up with only nine offensive snaps through the first two games which drew the ire of the fanbase. Outside of the 23 snaps he played in week 13 against the Patriots, Hines wasn’t a regular part of the offense; and there’s a case to be made that he wasn’t used enough. More weapons for Josh Allen is always good but versatile weapons are even better. How he’s incorporated in the offensive scheme on the practice field will be something to watch. Also, whether his reps come from the backfield or the open field will be key to how Buffalo might use him early on.