The Bills didn’t necessarily need to add to the running back position when they spent a second-round draft pick on Georgia’s James Cook this spring, with veterans Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and Duke Johnson already in tow. Entering the home stretch of 2022 training camp, however, they’re glad they did. Coach Sean McDermott singled out Cook as a summer standout on Thursday, according to The Athletic, telling reporters the rookie deserves credit for his work as both a runner and receiver.
“(He’s a) young player that’s opened some eyes here,” McDermott said, per Joe Buscaglia.
Not only that, but Cook warranted practice reps with the team’s actual wide receivers on Thursday, The Athletic reported. Singletary and Moss, the Bills’ incumbent one-two punch in the backfield, remained with the running backs while Cook joined Johnson, a noted pass catcher at the position, in receiver drills. He also got carries in team drills, however, another sign that he’s poised to enter his rookie season with a legitimate role despite the veteran presence at his position.
Singletary is expected to take the bulk of the carries for Buffalo after logging a career-high 870 rushing yards in 2021. And Moss, a 2020 third-round pick, has been the team’s go-to short-yardage option this summer while rotating with the starters, per Buscaglia. A good preseason performance, particularly in pass protection, could open the door for Cook to see even more snaps early on.