Top 3 Bills players to watch against the Rams in Week 1

Buffalo Bills, Gabriel Davis - Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills, Gabriel Davis - Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills, James Cook – Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

2. James Cook, RB

The Buffalo Bills are predictably being coy about their intentions with rookie running back James Cook, a star for them in preseason play. Cook will be sharing the load with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, but I think you can expect a pretty healthy dose of the rookie out of Georgia against the Los Angeles Rams.

Singletary has been effective, for his part, as an NFL back. As a former third-round pick, he’s averaged about 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his first three NFL seasons and had a career-best eight total touchdowns last year. He also had a career-high five fumbles, and the Bills knew they needed to upgrade at the running back position in the 2022 offseason.

Enter James Cook, the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who could be the secret weapon of this Buffalo offensive attack.

The key for the rookie Cook is going to be all about doing the little things well. When he’s asked to throw a big block in pass protection on third down, is he going to get the job done? When Josh Allen looks to him as an outlet in scramble drill, can he not only catch a pass but get upfield and pick up a first down to extend drives? Can he keep the Bills’ offense efficient in the red zone by finishing off long drives with touchdown runs?

There are a lot of checkpoints for rookies in terms of earning the trust of a coaching staff, especially when you’re talking about the Bills already having a guy like Devin Singletary who has played a lot of football for them, someone who knows their system like the back of his hand.

Cook is talented. The Bills invested a second-round pick in him. Going up against the Los Angeles Rams on national TV, this could be a coming-out party for the rookie who was another face in the crowd on a loaded Georgia roster but could be a major difference maker now for an NFL team in Buffalo with Super Bowl aspirations.