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Takeaways from Buffalo Bills’ first training camp practice 

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The smell of football was finally in the air again on Wednesday, as the Buffalo Bills returned to the field at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, NY for their first day of training camp.

Takeaways from Day 1: 

Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest seven months ago, was a full participant in practice. 

“With Damar’s situation, like I mentioned in the spring, he has our full support, and always will, and then we’ll continue to take it one day at a time, and we’ll go at his cadence,” head coach Sean McDermott told reporters. “At this point, he’s full-go and we’ll take it one day at a time, so I think that’s the best approach.”

Stefon Diggs spoke to the media after practice for the first time since the Bills fell to the Bengals in the AFC Divisional Round in January and cleared the air on the “drama” that had been surrounding the team. 

Diggs explained that everything stemmed from frustration but said that the outside rumors of him wanting a bigger role or having an issue with Ken Dorsey’s play-calling are not true. He also said there is no issue between him and Josh Allen. 

“Everyone has family issues, everyone has family problems in the house,” he said. “Obviously, the way we lost was just terrible in any regard. You don’t want to lose any game. We’ve lost for a couple of years at this point. We’ve been trying to get over the hump, and obviously, it caused a lot of frustration, but in all, as far as with that, I was here. We did have a conversation. It’s all water under the bridge now. I attribute it to like family matters. I don’t like dancing around things, and I don’t like those kinds of questions. Everyone has family matters, we had a conversation, all is well. Water under the bridge now and we’re back at work.

“I look at football like it’s a business at the end of the day, but when you go out there and fight tooth and nail, you put a lot of sweat equity into this thing, it starts to feel like a family. So, for me I kind of keep everything in house. At the end of the day, we had those conversations and everything that needed to be said was said and we talked it out as men everybody involved.”

Diggs added he still wants to retire a Bill and noted his relationship with McDermott is solid

“Yeah, 100 percent,” he said. “I also feel like I’m not a corner or DB. It’s not like I got to get some play calls from him. From a standpoint from a head coach, I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a guy that you can always have an open-door policy with and have conversations with him as a man which is more important than football. I feel like we are on the same page moving forward. Like I said it’s all water under the bridge. I know you guys haven’t spent too much time with me all offseason and I missed you guys too, but all is well in the Mafia household.”

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo’s rookie tight end, was definitely noticeable. He saw several targets come his way and looked fluid and natural making catches at all different parts of the field.

Von Miller, who is still recovering from last season’s torn ACL, was working off to the side but appeared to be doing quite a bit and seems to be closer to practicing with the team.

O’Cyrus Torrence, Buffalo’s rookie offensive guard, received some first-team reps during a red zone 11-on-11 period.

Christian Benford made one of the top plays of the day. During an 11-on-11 red zone period, the second-year cornerback undercut a route run by Stefon Diggs, jumped in front of him, and picked off a pass thrown by Josh Allen.

The team will be back on the practice field Thursday at 9:45 a.m.