ESPN thinks the Buffalo Bills could use some help up front.
Earlier this week, ESPN pointed out the biggest weakness for each Super Bowl contender and they went with the guard position for the Bills.
Guard, on the other hand, could be a problem. The Bills have options, but each of their choices has questions. Rodger Saffold was signed away from the Titans in free agency, but he is 34 and suffered injuries in a car crash before camp began. On the right side, they are expected to open the season with Ryan Bates, who had just one career start before taking every snap over the final five games last season. The Bears signed him to a four-year, $17 million offer sheet this offseason, and the Bills matched the deal with the plan of keeping Bates installed as the starter.
Buffalo has other options. Ike Boettger started 17 games from 2020 to 2021, although he’s beginning camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after tearing his left Achilles in December. Cody Ford, a second-round pick in 2019 and one of the rare misses for general manager Brandon Beane, can either play as the team’s swing tackle or settle in at guard. Journeyman David Quessenberry and Greg Van Roten, both of whom were starters on other rosters a year ago, will compete for playing time. Both of these guys would likely be Week 1 starters in other places if healthy. Only by Buffalo’s lofty standards would guard be considered an issue.
There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty at the guard position for the Bills.
The good news, however, is that Rodger Saffold, a veteran with over a decade of experience, is back at practice with Buffalo. He’s been putting in work this week which bodes well for the Bills in 2022.
Man it feels good to battle with these boys again! Thank you for all the get well wishes and support during this ordeal. Life throws you a curveball every now and again but how you respond is all that matters! Thank you for all the support! GO BILLS #BILLSMAFIA pic.twitter.com/lTCuf4qhYl— Rodger Saffold (@Rodger_Saffold) August 11, 2022
I think Saffold is going to be an extremely important player for the Bills in 2022. His veteran leadership combined with his experience should be invaluable for Buffalo this season. He’s a guy that knows what needs to be done and he does it.
Saffold might have some deficiencies in his game — his pass blocking left something to be desired last season — but he’s still a solid offensive lineman who rarely misses a game. He’s not an offensive line anchor, but he’s exactly the type of guy you want on your offensive line.
Featured image via Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports