Inside The Bills

Rex: Shaq might need week or so to be game ready

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2016 – 8:18 pm

Shaq Lawson will practice this week according to head coach Rex Ryan, but playing in his first NFL game this week might be a tall order. Here’s why.

Lawson is still on the Reserve/PUP list and can remain there as the team has a three week window in which to let him practice before they have to decide when they want to add him to the active roster. He could be added to the 53 as early as this week, but playing on Sunday in Miami after just three or four days of NFL practices under his belt seems like a big ask.

Ryan gave indication of that when asked what kind of role can be expected of Lawson this week with the Dolphins on tap.

“I don’t know if we can say for this week, but I think moving forward I think is get in there give some, spell some guys, and then maybe can he play in the sub team,” Ryan said. “Can he do different things? We are going to find out. We know he is a really good talent and I think combined with the players that we have, I think it will be good. I think as far as saying well is he a starter, well no he is not going to start now. I think Lorenzo Alexander has earned that. But we are going to work Shaq in there now.”

This week of practice will likely be designed to get his feet wet, let him physically rep plays and see where he fits best in terms of an initial role. Then as he gets on the field on game days and gains more experience and a feel for playing with his new teammates they can find ways to expand his role as long as he’s making progress.

Lawson missed all of the team’s OTA practices, minicamp, training camp and the preseason. He had one rookie minicamp practice out of pads before he underwent shoulder surgery. So it’s fair to think that it will take a week or so to get him back up to game speed and in some form of game shape. If I were to guess, I’d say seeing him make his debut in Week 8 is probably more likely than this Sunday in Miami.


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