Bills to start Matt Simms, sit starters Thursday night

Matt Simms, who is battling for the No. 3 quarterback spot, will start the Bills' final preseason game. Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills will start quarterback Matt Simms and sit their starters in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, coach Rex Ryan indicated Tuesday.

"But there will be plenty of guys that are playing that will be on our roster fighting for roster spots," he said.

Which players will sit out Thursday night and which will be playing and fighting for a roster spot? Here's are my best guesses:


Healthy starters or experienced players not likely to play: QB Tyrod Taylor, QB EJ Manuel, QB Matt Cassel, FB Jerome Felton, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Percy Harvin, WR Robert Woods, OT Cordy Glenn, G Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, G John Miller, OT Seantrel Henderson

Players not likely to play because of injury/rest: RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring), RB Karlos Williams (undisclosed medical procedure), WR Chris Hogan (knee/ankle), WR Marquise Goodwin (ribs), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), TE Charles Clay (knee)

Players likely to play: QB Matt Simms, RB Boobie Dixon, RB Bryce Brown, RB Bronson Hill, RB Cierre Wood, FB John Conner, WR Marcus Easley, WR Marcus Thigpen, WR Andre Davis, WR Dez Lewis, WR Tobais Palmer, TE MarQueis Gray, TE Matthew Mulligan, TE Chris Gragg, TE Nick O'Leary, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, G/C Kraig Urbik, C Dalton Freeman, G Cyril Richardson, OT Darryl Johnson, G/C Alex Kupper, G/T William Campbell

What's up for grabs: Simms could still be in the running for the No. 3 quarterback job if Cassel is released, although Simms is a more likely candidate for the practice squad. Conner is fighting for a job as the second fullback and a core special teams player. Thigpen, Davis and Lewis are all fighting for the last spot at wide receiver. Gray and Mulligan look to have wrapped up No. 2 and No. 3 tight end duties but could be pushed late by Gragg and O'Leary, who are fighting for roster spots. Urbik and Richardson could be pushed by Freeman, who was claimed off waivers this week, for the final backup offensive line spot.


Healthy starters or experienced players not likely to play: DE Jerry Hughes, DT Kyle Williams, DT Corbin Bryant, OLB Manny Lawson, LB Preston Brown, LB Nigel Bradham, CB Ronald Darby, CB Nickell Robey, S Corey Graham

Players not likely to play because of injury/rest: DE Mario Williams (calf), DT Marcell Dareus (leg), CB Stephon Gilmore (shoulder), CB Leodis McKelvin (ankle), LB Tony Steward (knee)

Players likely to play: DE Alex Carrington, DE IK Enemkpali, DE Quentin Groves, DE B.J. Larsen, DT Red Bryant, DT Stefan Charles, DT Andre Fluellen, OLB Randell Johnson, LB Kevin Reddick, LB A.J. Tarpley, CB Ron Brooks, CB Mario Butler, CB Merrill Noel, S Duke Williams, S Bacarri Rambo, S Jonathan Meeks

What's up for grabs: Groves could make a late push for the final defensive end spot, although it would be an uphill climb. Tarpley's status is more uncertain after Reddick was claimed off waivers last week; he could be a candidate for the practice squad. Ryan said Duke Williams is essentially a roster lock at safety, but will the Bills keep both Rambo and Meeks behind him?