The Buffalo Bills are currently playing the waiting game when it comes to the return of All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White.

White was placed on the Active/PUP list to start training camp, meaning he hasn’t been cleared to return to practice. White is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last year.

In the meantime, the Bills are figuring out who is going to fill White’s shoes not only in training camp and the preseason, but quite possibly for the first several games of the year. If White remains on the PUP until final cut down day, he will be placed on the PUP list to start the season and would miss the first four weeks, at minimum.

The obvious first choice of who steps up in White’s stead is first-round rookie Kaiir Elam. He’s a perfect fit for the Bills defense and his first-round pedigree screams starting-caliber material. Dane Jackson, last year’s replacement for White, likely slots in right behind Elam.

But there’s one guy that has a legitimate shot to beat out those two and that’s sixth-round rookie Christian Benford.

The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia wrote the following in one his recent camp reports:

“The cornerback competition has quickly become appointment viewing at practice because of its uncertainty. Dane Jackson, Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford all appear to have a legitimate chance to start if Tre’Davious White isn’t ready to go for Week 1.”

Benford has flashed all throughout camp and has really caught the eye of the coaching staff. There was one day where he shut down Stefon Diggs on a couple of reps, which obviously elicited major praise and really started the conversation about Benford’s role in 2022.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was also quick to praise him in a recent press conference, which should be noted, because Frazier isn’t too keen on handing out quick praise.

“He’s one of those guys who we felt may have been overlooked by a lot of people,” said Frazier. “We were really excited that we were able to draft him and watching what he’s done in the spring as well as what he’s done in training camp, he’s another one of those young corners who has some maturity about him and some instincts and playmaking ability that really gets you excited.”

Frazier isn’t the only coach that speaks highly of the rook. Head coach Sean McDermott sees the necessary qualities for Benford to have success, as well.

“I like those small school guys. I have a special place in my heart for those guys that are not as well-known,” said McDermott. “And you look at his history and what he’s done and what he’s achieved when the odds have been stacked against him a little bit, both in life and on the football field.

“You study that and there’s something to that, right? People who have been through and faced adversity and develop some resiliency through their life up to this point, and that usually serves them well here.”

Benford is already proving to be one of the draft’s biggest steals. He’s outperforming the Bills’ first-rounder and is pushing a veteran for a starting spot, which is way more than what one could ask for regarding a sixth-rounder’s first training camp.

And, there’s still a chance Benford is a starting corner in 2022, despite White’s eventual return. The Bills lost Levi Wallace to the Pittsburgh Steelers back in March and the team is looking for someone to fill that void, too.

It looks like the Bills have discovered quite the revelation, here, with Benford. And he could very well be a key piece in what the team hopes is a very, very successful year.

Featured image via Shawn Dowd / USA TODAY NETWORK