With the loss of Devin Singeltary in free agency and the season injury to Nyheim Nines, many questions were surrounding the Buffalo Bills backfield for 2023.
After the preseason opener, some of those questions may have been answered.
Second-year running back, James Cook ran 5 times for 20 yards including an 8-yard touchdown.
The touchdown was an impressive end-around.
He didn’t go down on first contact throughout the game.
An important running back could give the Bills more of a reason to have more of balanced offense to take pressure off Josh Allen. Allen and the Bills looked depleted in their Divisional Round loss to the Bengals last season.
Cook has also been the clear #1 running back in training camp for Buffalo.
The Athletic reported how well he looked in practice.
“In practices, Cook continued to provide the team with plenty of reasons to be optimistic about both his outlook and role in their 2023 season,” The Athletic writes. “Cook went coast-to-coast as their unquestioned top running back at camp, displaying excellent pass-catching skills and a good knack for finding running lanes between the tackles. With a cleared runway, Cook appears to be locked into a significant role barring injury.”
Other running backs on the roster are Jordan Mims and veteran Latavius Murray. Between the three, Cook had the highest rushing average at 5.0 per-carry.
As for Murray, his reason for coming to Buffalo was to win the Super Bowl. He has been in the league since 2014 when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. The former Pro Bowler said in the off season, “That’s the only reason I’m here honestly,” Murray said. “It’s not about anything else other than that for me. Just being able to compete for a ring.”
Cook’s best game as a rookie a season ago was versus the Chicago Bears. He ran for over 90 yards with a touchdown. Having a breakout 2nd season may be with the piece for a Bills team who has been so close the past few years.
Below are the stats for all Bills running backs in the preseason game.
They won over Indianapolis 23-19.
Table of Contents
J. Mims: 7 attempts 23 yards
J. Cook: 4 attempts 20 yards 1 TD
L. Murray: 5 attempts 18 yards
D. Evans 6 attempts 18 yards
K. Allen 1 attempt 5 yards
M. Barkley 3 attempts -2 yards