Buffalo Bills: Early look at key position battles during 2023 offseason

Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
James Cook, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) /

Running Back

James Cook vs. Damien Harris vs. Nyheim Hines

This next one is not a traditional position battle as the Buffalo Bills will likely have defined roles for the three running backs. However, there is certainly going to be a competition for snaps and this could determine how the position is utilized in this offense.

James Cook is the most talented running back of the three currently on the roster as he has great elusiveness and is a big play threat, either carrying the ball or as a receiver. While the hope is that he would receive a majority of the work, it is still unknown if he can earn the coaching staff’s trust to step into that role.

This was one of the reasons the Bills added Damien Harris this offseason as he is a veteran running back and will probably be close to leading the team in rushing attempts this upcoming season. The question will be do the Bills lean more into a traditional run game with Harris or is he primarily a short-yardage, goal-line back?

The third running back is Nyheim Hines, who made an impact on special teams after the Buffalo Bills traded for him during the season, but was almost a non-factor on offense. This was surprising as he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. If Cook isn’t able to take that next step, then Hines could see a significant increase in his workload this coming season.