Inside The Bills

Goodwin’s gold quest has made for tough call

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2016 – 2:42 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin has been dedicated the last several months to qualifying for the US Olympic team’s track and field team in the long jump event. So far, so good as Goodwin has the longest jump on record this calendar year in the world. US Olympic trials are at the end of June. And while head coach Rex Ryan has supported Goodwin’s opportunity to represent his country on one of the highest athletic stages in the world, there’s no denying the receiver is doing it at a cost.

Goodwin has missed all the voluntary offseason OTA practices and meetings. It’s unclear if he’ll make it in for the team’s mandatory minicamp next week, but with the commitment needed to qualify for the Olympics it wouldn’t be shocking if he was not in attendance. Ryan has said when he’s done with his Olympic commitment they’ll welcome him back.

“We know it’s not an ideal situation right now for him on this football team. But it’s something I think… we’re proud of the fact that he’s representing our country, our football team and our community that way. Is it hurting him? Yeah I think it will a little bit, but he will have time,” Ryan said. “He’s going to have time to come back in and develop those football skills. One thing we know is if he’s not the fastest guy in the league he’s certainly right up there in the conversation. That’s a positive for him. When he’s done with his training with the Olympics and if he brings back gold, that’ll be fantastic, he’ll have time to catch up.”

Knowing what a cut throat league the NFL is, Goodwin is smart enough to know that there are some capable speed receivers on Buffalo’s roster right now who could potentially fill one of the secondary roles in the receiving corps instead of him. Most notably sixth-round pick Kolby Listenbee.

With world class speed and superior size to Goodwin, Listenbee as well as a couple of other viable competitors sit on the roster and are competing at spring practices.

As for when Goodwin will return full time, it’s expected to be right after the long jump competition is over in Rio. That figures to be more than a week after training camp has started knowing opening ceremonies for the Olympics are scheduled for August 5th.

“Right after he runs his event and then come on back in and get back here,” Ryan said. “We’ll be excited to see him.”

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