Injuries and underachieving veterans have thrust the Bills' defensive rookies into significant roles. Marcell Dareus started from Day One and ILB Kelvin Sheppard took over midseason. CB Aaron Williams has returned from injury and started in Week 12.
In the Week 12 loss to the Jets, fourth-rounder Da'Norris Searcy started at strong safety for the injured George Wilson, and he again will do so in Week 13. Seventh-round CB Justin Rogers appeared in the nickel package.
The way we hear it, the team was high on both Searcy and Rogers in training camp, and Rogers' playing time is an indictment of the poor play of former first-round CB Leodis McKelvin. Williams started at corner opposite Drayton Florence and Rogers, a speedy corner, played in sub packages with McKelvin seeing his time on special teams.
With the Bills unlikely to make the playoffs, the extra playing time for its rookie class on the defensive side of the ball is important, especially considering how much improvement was needed on "D," and Searcy and Rogers are the latest rookies to get their chance to make an impression.
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