Buffalo Bills

Is Nathan Peterman ready to start for Bills?

Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman (2) throws a pass before a preseason NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman could be a little over a week away from opening up the season as a starter.

The fifth-round pick, who outplayed T.J. Yates in training camp for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, could find himself on the field as soon as Week 1 if Tyrod Taylor isn’t able to return. The veteran quarterback has been held out of practice this week after suffering a concussion in last week’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Taylor will get all of the assurances from the coaching staff that he’s still the starter. However, the writing has been on the wall since Peterman opened up the preseason against the Minnesota Vikings. He showed the poise and efficiency of a pro-ready quarterback, but there is a big difference between looking sharp in the preseason and playing well in the season, when defensive coordinators open up the playbook with exotic blitzes and tricky coverage schemes.

The Bills were already in the process of turning over a new leaf before Taylor went down. They have reworked their roster like the New York Jets have in an effort to completely rebuild. Players the likes of Taylor and even running back LeSean McCoy seem out of place considering the direction the Bills are headed.

There’s no sense in trotting Taylor back out on the field for a losing cause.

Peterman looks ready enough to begin the learning process that comes with being a rookie quarterback. It’s a good time for him to step in and learn the ropes through personal experience rather than wasting a season sitting on the sidelines. Peterman can definitely ball, and the Bills seem to really like him. Perhaps it’s time to move on from Taylor and see how bright the future can be with Peterman.

“If [Taylor’s] out there, he’s the guy we want,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said on WGR 550’s John Murphy Show, according to Pro Football Talk. “He’s the starter. He’s got a lot of starts in this league, and we’re looking forward to him leading us out. If for some reason he’s unable to do that, then Nathan [Peterman will be ready]. The fortunate part of it is it did happen early in that game. Nathan got a lot of reps with the ones. You can’t replicate that game situation.”

One NFL scout compared Peterman to Kirk Cousins ahead of the draft.

That’s a lofty comparison for a rookie coming out of college, but Peterman is constantly turning heads and raising eyebrows. Either he’s overhyped or the Bills pulled off the heist of the century at football’s most important position.

We may not have to wait long for the answer.

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