5 early storylines emerging from Buffalo Bills training camp

Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle)
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle) /
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Buffalo Bills training camp has returned to St. John Fisher for the first time in 3 years, and everyone seems happy. The team has Super Bowl expectations, the players once again get to enjoy the “world-renowned” turkey burgers at the cafeteria, and fans once again get to take in training camp in person.

Here are five storylines that have developed early in camp that is worth watching.

Buffalo Bills
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Who has the upper hand in the slot receiver battle for the Buffalo Bills?

After he signed with the Buffalo Bills, it was widely assumed that Jamison Crowder would take over the slot wide receiver role in this offense. However, Sean McDermott always has valued loyalty and stuck with his guys. This philosophy favors incumbent Isaiah McKenzie, who has been with the team for four seasons and had a massive game against the Patriots last December.

Due to a nagging injury, Crowder could not get on the field at the beginning of camp, which might have given “Lil Dirty” the upper hand in the position battle. McKenzie has gotten first-team reps to start camp and, by all accounts, has looked fantastic.

Crowder has had the more successful NFL career to date, but his absence has opened up an opportunity for McKenzie, who is already familiar with the offense, to strike

Confounding the situation for Crowder is the presence of fifth-round draft pick Khalil Shakir who also figures to compete for reps out of the slot. If McKenzie becomes the true slot, Shakir could replace him in the gadget role as Shakir carried the ball 21 times as a senior at Boise State.

The rookie has made an impression early and according to Sal Capaccio of WGR550, Shakir had a really strong day of practice on Monday.