Buffalo Bills: 5 position battles that will come down to the wire

Buffalo Bills, Justin Fields (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills, Justin Fields (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 21: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass under pressure from Damar Hamlin #31 of the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 21, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bills defeated the Bears 41-15. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Backup Safety

The backup safety position not only has questions due to inexperience but also injury. Jaquan Johnson, the favorite to be the third safety and direct backup to starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer has been hurt with a knee injury the past couple of days and it looks like he may not play against the Packers. The leaves the door open for Damar Hamlin and Josh Thomas who have played very well in the preseason. Behind those guys, nobody is challenging for a spot so it is a three-man race for two spots.

A ton of this battle depends on Johnson’s injury. If the injury is more short-term he could make the roster and not be place on IR. However, if it is a multi-week injury then he may go directly to injured reserve once he makes the team and both Hamlin and Thomas end up on the roster.

All three guys have shown the ability to play safety and special teams which is important to Buffalo. This battle is less about who is better and who is worse and more about what is the status and availability of these guys come cut down day.

I would expect two to make the roster and one the practice squad unless another team poaches that player away from Buffalo through waivers. Right now, if Johnson’s injury is not too bad I would give Johnson and Hamlin the edge due to experience and preseason play.