Brian of Buffalo Rumblings wraps up this edition of Around the AFC East by talking about his team's newest running back.
What kind of role do you see Dominic Rhodes playing for the Bills in 2009? (From John B)
That's easy to answer for the first three weeks of the season - he'll be playing Fred Jackson, who will be playing Marshawn Lynch while Lynch is serving a league-imposed three-game suspension. He'll get 7-8 carries per game and maybe another two catches spelling Jackson early in the season.
When Lynch returns, Rhodes' role becomes a lot more difficult to define. Lynch remains the "workhorse" runner of the group, and he's easily the player with the highest upside. Jackson is also highly valuable to the offense thanks to his vastly underrated receiving skills; in fact, the Bills worked him in as a slot receiver frequently throughout spring practices. Rhodes will see playing time, because he's a solid performer - and solid performers find their way onto the field. But Lynch and Jackson will get the bulk of the carries, so Rhodes might have to settle for spot duty, injury fill-in and an occasional kick return (spelling Leodis McKelvin) from Week 4 on.
The Lynch suspension made Rhodes a nice signing. You can never have too much depth. I'm not sure Lynch, Jackson, and Rhodes are quite Jones, Washington, and Greene, but the Bills will enter the season with the luxury of having three proven backs.