Jon Feliciano has surgery for torn pectoral muscle, out indefinitely

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By WGR 550 SportsRadio

Buffalo Bills starting right guard Jon Feliciano underwent surgery for a torn pectoral muscle on Friday, according to the team. He will be out indefinitely.

The injury leaves a huge void along the Bills' offensive line. Feliciano not only started all 16 games last season for the club, but was also the team’s backup center and had to be used in that role in certain situations throughout the season.

The Bills were set to return all five of their starting offensive linemen from a year ago. Now, they’ll look to replace Feliciano, who signed with the club last offseason as a free agent.

The team does have some depth at the position and will now have to figure out the best combination as training camp begins.

Here are some options:

 

  • Move Cody Ford to right guard

The Bills may elect to move Ford from right tackle to right guard, a position many feel he’s more suited to play at the NFL level. Ford started at right tackle for 15 games last season as a rookie, but often rotated with Ty Nsekhe, who played 10 games, missing six due to an ankle injury. If Ford kicks inside, Nsekhe and Daryl Williams would most likely battle for the starting right tackle spot. Williams was a Second-Team All-Pro in 2017 while starting at right tackle all 16 games for the Carolina Panthers. However, he tore his right MCL and dislocated his kneecap in 2018 and missed almost the entire season. After re-signing a one-year contract in Carolina last offseason, he played in all 16 games, but moved around to different spots on the offensive line, starting four games at left tackle, three at right guard, and five at left guard.

 

  • Spencer Long

Long was a very valuable reserve last year, seeing time in 14 games. Prior to joining the Bills last offseason, he spent a majority of his career at center, but also saw plenty of action as a guard, playing for both the, then, Washington Redskins and the New York Jets. With Feliciano as the main backup center last year, Long was primarily only a guard. But now he could be the starting guard and primary backup to center Mitch Morse. With Feliciano out, Long’s value to the club has most likely drastically increased due to his ability to play both positions.

 

  • Ryan Bates

Bates is even more versatile than Long. He can play all five offensive line positions. So, like Long, the Bills may want to put him at right guard and know he can still move around when needed, or just continue to have him as a valuable backup for every spot, especially knowing those types of players will be even more valuable this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and possibly having to shuffle players more frequently. Bates was acquired by the Bills in a trade with the Eagles two weeks into last year’s camp after signing as an undrafted free agent with Philadelphia.

 

  • Ike Boettger

Boettger was active for two games this year and is most likely a roster bubble player right now. But he does have six games of NFL experience playing guard, all with the Bills over the last two seasons. So he knows the offensive system and can step in right away to compete.

 

  • Evan Boehm

Fand may not be familar with Boehm, but the Bills grabbed him back in April as a free agent and he has starting experience at the position, inlcuding eight games last season for the Miami Dolphins. Prior to that, he had played for the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, who originally selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Missouri.  Over his four-year NFL career, the 6-foot-3, 321-pound Boehm has played both guard and center, appearing in 55 games, starting 21 of them.  He's a darkhorse candidate to win the starting right guard spot now in the absense of Feliciano.

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