Less than a week before the season opener, it's Nigel Bradham pushing Moats for the very same position.
Bradham, a fourth-round pick out of Florida State, received some reps with the starting unit at practice Monday. After practice, coach Chan Gailey said Bradham was indeed making a challenge for Moats' role.
“Today, he's pushing,” Gailey said.
Bradham has made a relatively smooth transition to the pros during his short time with the Bills. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, he has an NFL-ready build along with an impressive combination of athletic skills. He was a three-year starter at weakside linebacker at Florida State, leading the Seminoles in tackles in each of those seasons.
“He's such an impressive athlete,” Gailey said. “He's not played over there (strongside linebacker) at all. We'd thrown him over there a couple snaps over a little bit during OTAs and training camp, but we stuck him over there to see how he can do. He is such a physical presence and has such great speed. He matches up well over there and Arthur's done a good job, too. So if we can keep getting Nigel some reps and he can learn what to do, that'd give us two solid, young players.”
If Bradham continues progressing at this rate, it wouldn't be a surprise if he jumped ahead of Moats relatively early in the season. The decision does raise some concerns about the strongside position, however, given the timing of the move.
Injury updates: RT Erik Pears (groin) and CB Terrence McGee (knee) both practiced Monday and appear to be in good shape for Sunday's game. “They both played and it looked like they did well,” Gailey said. DE Mark Anderson (groin) also returned. QB/WR Brad Smith (groin) sat out but has a chance to play, according to Gailey.