Bills' Sean McDermott explains lone player absence at mandatory minicamp

The Buffalo Bills kicked off mandatory minicamp on Tuesday in Orchard Park and a third-year cornerback was the lone player not present.
Dec 31, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Rasul Douglas (31) and cornerback Christian Benford (47) celebrate a turnover against the New England Patriots with linebacker Terrel Bernard (43) in the first quarter at Highmark Stadium.
Dec 31, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Rasul Douglas (31) and cornerback Christian Benford (47) celebrate a turnover against the New England Patriots with linebacker Terrel Bernard (43) in the first quarter at Highmark Stadium. / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills' head coach Sean McDermott has reported near-perfect attendance for the team's mandatory minicamp, which kicked off Tuesday in Orchard Park.

From the Bills' 90-man roster, which is actually at 91 members due to an International Pathway exemption, only one player is currently not present at the team facility.

"Everyone is here, expect for Christian [Benford]," said McDermott at his pre-practice press briefing.

It is, however, an excused absence for the third-year cornerback, who is one of eight returning starters on the Bills' defense.

"Christian Benford is excused to handle a family matter," said McDermott.

Benford, a 2022 sixth-round draft pick, made 14 regular season starts for Buffalo last season. The Villanova product forced a fumble during the Bills' 31-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wildcard round but also suffered a knee injury that prevented the starter from suiting up against the Kansas City Chiefs one week later.

Earlier this offseason, Pro Football Focus named Benford, who will turn 24 years old in September, as Buffalo's "most underrated player." He remains penciled in as the Bills' starting boundary cornerback opposite veteran Rasul Douglas. CBS Sports recently tabbed Benford as a player with an opportunity to “burst onto the scene” and become a “star” in 2024.


Published
Ralph Ventre

RALPH VENTRE