The Buffalo Bills knew they would be going into this game with a different starting offensive line with Jon Feliciano ruled out Friday due to a concussion. He was replaced by Ike Boettger, who was a starter down the stretch for the Bills last season.
However, the bigger news is that this is not the only change the team made at the offensive line as third-round draft pick Spencer Brown gets his first career start. He is lined up at right tackle with Daryl Williams sliding inside to right guard, as Joe Buscaglia tweeted at the start of the game.
These moves mean the Buffalo Bills have benched Cody Ford for this week’s game against the Houston Texans. The former second-round pick had started every game this season at right guard up until this point.
This is certainly surprising for a player that is currently in a pivotal season early in his career. As a rookie, Cody Ford was primarily the starting right tackle for the Buffalo Bills but the thought was he was better suited as a guard in the NFL.
He made that move inside last year and after playing both left and right guard, he saw his season cut short due to a knee injury. Entering this year, Ford was primarily a guard once again and the hope was he could solidify himself as a starting guard for this offensive line.
It will be worth watching over the course of the game to see how the offensive line plays. This may be a week the coaching staff tries a few different combinations and while Ford isn’t starting the game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him worked into the game if the offensive line struggles early.
Ultimately, the decision for the Buffalo Bills to go with this offensive line may be as much about sending a message to Cody Ford but also getting a chance to see Spencer Brown. The rookie has looked good at different points of the preseason, as well as last week against Washington.
If the coaching staff wants to get him onto the field, they may have decided Daryl Williams was the better player at right guard than Cody Ford. He has more experience than Ford and this could be a benefit to playing Williams next to an inexperienced player like Spencer Brown.