Since Reggie Ragland was last healthy enough to participate in a Buffalo Bills practice setting, the team has fired its general manager, head coach and installed a new defensive scheme. The 2016 second-round pick has some adjusting to do.
Ragland, though, continued his recovery process by returning to individual drills at Bills OTAs on Friday.
Ragland suffered a torn ACL during training camp last year and has yet to play an NFL game. The former Alabama linebacker would have enjoyed a clearer path to playing time if the Bills had stuck with their 3-4 alignment used under Rex Ryan, but now that Sean McDermott has moved Buffalo back to a 4-3 scheme, there is one fewer linebacker job available.
Preston Brown may be the favorite to win the middle linebacker job given Ragland’s injury, but Buffalo isn’t exactly stocked on the outside. The Bills re-signed edge defender Lorenzo Alexander, who came out of nowhere to thrive as a 3-4 outside ‘backer, but lost Zach Brown in free agency. Ragland played in Alabama’s 3-4 alignment, and it remains to be seen if he could play outside in a 4-3 set. But the key factor now is probably the former coveted prospect is back on the field for the Bills.
“It felt great just to get back out there on the field, especially this week, just as an individual, to get my legs back up under me,” Ragland said, via the team’s website. “We’re going to take it day by day. It just depends on how my knee feels. For the most part, it feels great. What the staff has done for me, has been fantastic. Everyone’s been great. So, I’m thankful for that. To have the type of people around me to help me get back like those guys.”