Bills Notes: Quarterbacks, Williams, O’Leary

Running back Marcus Murphy continues to improve his chances of making the Bills’ 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round had a brief cameo with Buffalo last season, but he had showed some intriguing flashes during his tenure with the Saints. His talents have been on display during the preseason, as he’s compiled 74 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries (he’s also hauled in four catches).

“I just want to make a play,” Murphy told Branson Wright of Cleveland.com. “Whenever an opportunity is given, I just want to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being a running back, punt returner or kick returner. I just want to be a playmaker whenever I get the chance.”

“I appreciate the coaching staff giving me an opportunity. I want to show them that they can trust me to make a play and show that I’m able to execute whenever they need me to.”

Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News is ready to give Murphy a spot on the opening-day roster, and the writer cites the struggles of current number-three running back Travaris Cadet. Otherwise, Murphy would be competing with Taiwan Jones for a role behind LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Buffalo…

  • While Skurski is willing to hand Murphy a roster spot, he wonders if tight end Nick O’Leary is on the roster bubble. While the 25-year-old did finish last night’s preseason win over the Browns with a team-leading four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown, he didn’t end up taking the field until the second half. If the former sixth-rounder has any hopes of making the Bills, he’ll have to beat out Jason Croom, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee for backup reps behind Charles Clay. O’Leary finished last season with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (five starts).
  • Quarterback A.J. McCarron suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during last night’s preseason game. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the signal-caller will end up missing “several weeks,” but a definitive timetable hasn’t been set. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mike Rodak isn’t ready to hand the starting quarterback gig to first-rounder Josh Allen. The reporter notes (on Twitter) that head coach Sean McDermott has a high opinion of backup Nathan Peterman, and McCarron’s injury shouldn’t force the coach to “stray from his “calculated” plan about Allen.” Rodak believes the two healthy quarterbacks will split reps during next weekend’s game against the Bengals, although he also wonders if the team may end up adding another quarterback to the roster.
  • Defensive lineman Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury during last night’s game, but Rapoport tweets that the Pro Bowler’s ACL wasn’t injured. If the MRI confirms that prognosis, the 35-year-old “could return this season.” That still sounds like a rather grim outlook for the defensive tackle, but the MRI will likely provide specific details on the severity of the injury. The five-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire 12-year career with Buffalo, and he finished last season with 41 tackles and three sacks. If he is indeed forced to miss time, the Bills will likely turn to Harrison Phillips or Adolphus Washington for a bigger role.
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