The last three weeks have essentially been a revolving door for Bills receivers — in and out they go.
Truth be told, it makes it tough to build a rapport between a quarterback and his targets with the amount of turnover the team has seen over the last few weeks.
Jordan Matthews, who the Bills acquired in a trade, remains limited in practice and won’t suit up in the team’s third preseason game as he battles a chipped sternum.
He is expected to be ready for the season opener against the Jets on Sept. 10.
Even with the seemingly constant changes at the position, and without the big names like Sammy Watkins and Anquan Boldin, Tyrod Taylor isn’t worried about a lack of depth at receiver.
“Regardless of the circumstances, you have to go out there and make things work. That’s our job as an offense is to go out and execute with whoever is on the field,” the quarterback said. “My mindset right now is to get everyone on the same page, go out there and play at a high level and win games.”
Rookie Zay Jones has been the only mainstay at the position, and Saturday night he’ll plenty of first team action as the starters are expected to play into the second half.
“Every time (Zay) gets to go out there and create plays and make plays, it’s definitely important for him, a young guy in this league getting confidence early in the preseason. It’s big,” Taylor said. “I told him (Monday) he’s kind of like a rookie and a vet in the same year. A lot is being thrown at him. He’s taking it in stride, challenging himself to be better each and every day.”
Despite uncertainty at the position beyond Jones, Matthews and Rod Streater, who is battling a toe injury, there are two receivers who have shined.
Daikiel Shorts and Brandon Reilly, who were both undrafted free agents, have continued to make plays both in practice and in preseason action, catching the eye of offensive coordinator Rick Dennison
“They’re doing some really good things,” Dennison told reporters on Thursday. “So, whenever somebody makes a play I think they earn the right to get more.”
Shorts leads the Bills in the preseason with six catches while Reilly has five, including a touchdown.
“When Anquan retired, you know you have to respect his decision, but it opens up another spot,” Reilly said. “I’m doing everything I can to go and get that spot and make this team.”
And with the third preseason game typically a final dress rehearsal for teams ahead of the regular season, both rookies know what’s at stake in Baltimore.
“I was talking to Daikiel before practice and I said this is probably the biggest game of our lives coming up. You can’t put any more stress on yourself, you just have to relax, go out and have fun and do what we do.”