Buffalo Bills: Does AJ McCarron injury open door for Josh Allen?

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 17: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 17, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 17: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 17, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

In the second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a shoulder injury which could impact his chances of winning the starting QB job.

It appears that Sean McDermott‘s decision on who will be the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback in Week 1 just got a bit easier, or did it?

For weeks the debate has been between Nathan Peterman or AJ McCarron, but an injury to the latter could present an opportunity for Josh Allen. Safe to say, the Bills’ QB position can be compared to a carousel and it should excite and make fans worried at the same time.

Through two preseason games it’s safe to say all three quarterbacks have made their case, but at the same time there hasn’t been a performance that stands out enough to make a clear case. After the game, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com wrote that Allen should be given consideration over Peterman because of the overwhelming talent he brings to the position.

Sure the seventh overall pick has been able to show he has a better arm and is more athletic than Peterman, but there’s still some areas of his game that need perfecting. However, if Buffalo Bills fans were to have to pick between Peterman or Allen, it would be tough to not have the rookie playing.

Allen went 9-for-13 against the Cleveland Browns, throwing for 60 yards and a touchdown to Rod Streater on an impressive play where he scrambled and allowed Streater enough time to get open.

At this point, it’s tough to not give Allen the advantage when you watch the tape and see some of the plays he’s making, but it’s still too early to say with certainty that he’s the best choice at QB.

Granted, the Bills made it clear that the 22-year-old is the future of the franchise and he has made some impressive plays, but once you decide he’s the starter it’s tough to sit him if things don’t go well. Let’s not forget that Peterman has also been productive in his audition.

That’s not to say that Allen wouldn’t deserve the chance to start if either Peterman or McCarron are unproductive in the early going, especially with the Baltimore Ravens as the opponent in Week 1.

Would it be enticing to see if the rookie can go up against a historically tough defence? Sure, but the decision should only be made if the coaching staff has all the confidence in Allen, and it’s tough to say if they do right now.

"“It looked like it was a step in the right direction,” McDermott said of Allen. “Certainly, he got some meaningful time in the first half, which was important. (He) directed a two-minute drive before half, came out after half and took control of the first series there, which is all good experience for him.”"

If the Bills think Allen is capable of starting, McDermott didn’t share that sentiment in his postgame comments on the rookie’s performance. If anything it makes it seem like the young QB has some work to do, in order to establish himself as the clear-cut favourite.

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Maybe this will give the coaching staff something to think about going forward and they’ll give Allen an increase in reps and tougher matchups.

There’s no reason why Allen shouldn’t start the final preseason game, because he deserves the chance to show what he can do right out of the gate.

Here is what Allen had to say about the possibility of playing Week 1 and whether he’d be ready for it.

"“Yeah, I’d definitely welcome that,’’ Allen said when asked if he’d be okay with starting Week 1. “Whenever my number is called, I feel like I’ll be ready. I think the coaches understand that. They’re not going to throw me into a situation where I wouldn’t be ready. I’m just putting my trust in the them. Coach McDermott, he’s a smart man, smart coach. So, whatever he says, is what we’re going to do.’’"

Unfortunately, it’s not up to Allen to determine whether he’ll be ready to start in Week 1. That’s a decision McDermott is going to have to make and with McCarron sidelined with the hairline fracture on his shoulder, the pressure is now on the coaching staff to make the right choice.

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While it might be too early to say Allen should be under center for the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, he’s inching closer than people expected, which should make Peterman and McCarron concerned about their chances to start.