3 players who could make noise in the Buffalo Bills preseason games

Christian Benford, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle)
Christian Benford, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle) /
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Buffalo Bills
Jaquan Johnson, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jaquan Johnson

With Jordan Poyer out in Week 2 against the Houston Texans last season, we saw Jaquan Johnson in action as a starter for the first time in his career. Johnson was up against the task as a part of a secondary that held the Texans to only 87 yards through the air. Johnson even added an interception of his own against Houston’s woeful offense.

Johnson has proven his worth with the Buffalo Bills as a quality special teams player. However, he rarely has touched the field playing safety due to the obvious. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer rarely get injured and otherwise would not come off the field.

Johnson has no path to significant playing time this season if the Bills’ All-Pro safety duo is healthy, but the stakes are still high for the fourth-year player. Hyde and Poyer are into their 30s, and Brandon Beane could start looking for their long-term replacements slowly. Johnson has the chance to prove that he not only could be one of the Bills’ most reliable special teams players but also the long-term answer at safety at some point in the next three seasons.

Johnson will have ample opportunities this offseason with Poyer nursing a hyperextended elbow and likely out for a couple of weeks; Johnson has been the only safety working alongside Micah Hyde and the first team.

Although there is no starting role up for grabs, this could be Johnson’s most crucial training camp. Against the Colts, Johnson is likely going to start and play significant minutes. Johnson not only can show his talent on the field but being a leader for an extremely young group of defensive backs against the Colts will surely be something that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott will be looking at.