The Lions lost to the Bills in a game that mattered only to the guys battling for jobs. Justin Rogers of The Detroit News provides some analysis. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Orchard Park, N.Y. -- The rosters were predictably watered-down for the preseason finale between the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills.
The Lions rested approximately 30 players, and pulled a dozen more from the game early Thursday night. The deeper into the game a player is on the field, the more it says about their standing on the roster.
So when linebacker Antwione Williams and cornerback Johnson Bademosi were covering punts into the second half, it understandably raises questions.
For Williams, who had been the projected starter at strong-side linebacker early in training camp, he took the extended playing time in stride. A second-year player out of Georgia Southern, he embraced the opportunity to gain some additional experience, regardless of the perceived meaning of the contest.
“I don’t take it as a negative thing,” Williams said. “I’m still developing, so I’m so excited.”
The typically exuberant Williams, known for his eagerness to hit and hit hard, also wasn’t disappointed with the chance to put a licking on a few Bills before the start of the regular season.
“Oh, hell no,” Williams said. “To be able to go out there and play, shoot, this is what I signed up for. I’m excited about it.”
Bademosi was more reserved after playing 51 total snaps. A key cog on one of the NFL’s best special teams units in 2016, he’s part of a crowded position group that has six others who have staked claims at roster spots on the 53-man roster.
“You know, I’m in control of what I do when I’m out there on that field,” Bademosi said when asked if he was worried about his roster chances. “While I’m out there, I did my best, gave my best effort and made as many plays as I can. That’s all I can do.”
Bademosi is coming off a tremendous training camp, which he called the best of his six-year career. He showed impressive playmaking ability, coming up with multiple high-degree-of-difficulty interceptions on the practice field.
Williams’ roster spot was never in jeopardy. Before the game, it seemed like the same could be said for Bademosi. Now, that’s less certain.
The wait won’t be long for him, or the many others hanging in the balance. The Lions must get down to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.