The official start of the preseason kicks off for the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills as they face each other on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. The Colts most notably made a change at the quarterback position in the offseason, while the Bills bolstered their defense by adding Super Bowl champion Von Miller.
With both teams heading into the 2022 season with postseason aspirations, it’s unlikely we’ll see the regular season starters suit up on Saturday. With that in mind here’s our breakdown of who to expect to get snaps for Saturday’s preseason matchup.
Indianapolis made a change under center as they traded for Matt Ryan in the offseason. The Colts believe that he presents an upgrade as they hope to return to the postseason. Head coach Frank Reich says that Ryan will play the first quarter of this game, per Adam Schefter. Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger should take the majority of snaps under center.
Buffalo is hoping to return to the AFC Championship this season, albeit with a much better outcome. They’ll need Josh Allen healthy for the marathon season, so it’s unlikely he suits up at all throughout the preseason. Backup Case Keenum has experience on his resume as well, so we could very well see Matt Barkley under center for the majority of the game.
Jonathan Taylor was the best running back in football last season, so we might not see him line up in the backfield on Saturday. Nyheim Hines could also get a pass given his familiarity in the Colts’ system. That leaves Phillip Lindsay and Ty’Son Williams to possibly get the bulk of the carries for the first game of the preseason.
Buffalo needs a strong running game this year to help Allen avoid as much contact as possible. To keep starter Devin Singletary fresh for the long haul it’s likely he remains on the sideline for Saturday’s game. Zack Moss and James Cook likely gets the carries in his absence.
Michael Pittman Jr. has the potential to form a breakout duo with Ryan in the pocket, and he’s arguably their best option on the outside. Expect him to sit this one out while Alec Pearce and Ashton Dulin lead the rest of the receiving corps on the field. The preseason will be telling in regards to the depth at the position for the Colts.
Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis are surefire locks at wide receiver. But as for the rest of the receiving group? It’s a wide-open battle to solidify the rest of the depth chart. Expect Jamison Crowder to take the field as he competes with Tavon Austina and Khalil Shakir to round out the back end of the position group.
The Colts will likely want to see what they have in the tight end group, and in their first released depth chart, it was Mo Alie-Cox ahead of Drew Ogletree and Kylen Granson. Alie-Cox could take the field given that he’s taking on more responsibility following the three-year $18 million deal he signed with Indianapolis. His starting spot isn’t in doubt, more so he’s going to have to back up the added responsibility on his shoulders.
Dawson Knox solidified himself as one of the top tight ends in football last season, so he’s unlikely to suit up at all during the preseason. O.J. Howard joined in the offseason from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and there is a chance he gets some snaps with his new team. Otherwise, expect Tommy Sweeney and Quintin Morris to see the most playing time.