The banged-up Buffalo Bills can hardly afford to lose another player. Especially at the most important position in sports.
Coach Rex Ryan was nonplussed to see starting passer Tyrod Taylor sacrifice his body on Monday for a practice-session touchdown. Scurrying on a quarterback draw inside the 10-yard line, Taylor "hurdled" two defenders and flipped in midair for the score, per ESPN's Mike Rodak.
"Are you kidding me?" Ryan later told reporters, according to Rodak. "Please don't do that. ... He's got to take care of himself."
Ryan acknowledged that he "literally" held his breath watching Taylor soar through the air. He wasn't alone:
One teammate yelled, "Ty! What are you doing?!" #Billsâ Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 8, 2016
Ryan, of course, is still smarting from the loss of second-round linebacker Reggie Ragland, who the Bills were planning to plug in as a Week 1 starter. The rookie suffered a knee injury last week and continues to go through testing to decipher how long he'll be lost.
The Bills on Monday also saw left tackle Cordy Glenn exit with an ankle injury, while guard Richie Incognito left early with sore ribs. On the plus side, three key players -- wideout Sammy Watkins and defensive linemen Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams -- all passed their physicals.
Watching the injury bug descend, Ryan's frustration is understandable. There's little reason for Taylor to put his body at risk in practice. Conversely, old-school football-heads can point to yesteryear -- when players in practice beat the snot out of each other daily -- but that world no longer exists.