Former University of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen will start for the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, head coach Sean McDermott announced Tuesday.
“It’s the right move for our team,” McDermott told The Associated Press.
Allen made his NFL debut in Buffalo’s season-opening 47-3 loss to Baltimore, completing 6 of 15 passes for 74 yards off the bench. Nathan Peterman struggled as the Bills’ starter, completing 5 of 18 passes for 24 yards with two interceptions — giving him a passer rating of 0.0.
Allen is the first UW quarterback to ever throw a pass in the NFL. None of the three UW quarterbacks drafted before Allen — Jim Walden (1960), Rick Egloff (1967) or Wheatland’s Casey Bramlet (2004) — recorded any NFL statistics.
He will be the first UW quarterback to start an NFL game, Wyoming athletics confirmed.
The Bills drafted Allen seventh overall in April’s NFL Draft, trading up to do so. Allen became the highest drafted player in UW history.
At Wyoming, Allen threw for 5,066 yards and 44 touchdowns with a 56.2 completion percentage in three seasons. He started for Wyoming in 2016 and ‘17, leading the Cowboys to 16 wins and a 2016 Mountain Division championship. Following the Cowboys’ Potato Bowl win in December, Allen announced he would forgo his final college season to enter the NFL.
McDermott declined to elaborate on his thought process behind the decision to replace Peterman, instead saying it was “the right move” for his team more than 10 times.
“I don’t feel the need, honestly, to elaborate,” McDermott said. “We talk a lot in house about decisions and things and what we’ve got to do and the right move at the right time and right now, with all respect to your question, this is the right move for us.”
The Bills hoped to bring Allen along at a calculated and methodical pace after drafting this spring. Allen has a strong arm and ideal physical tools, but has been considered a developmental project. The Bills, however, were forced into making a change following one of the worst losses in franchise history.
“I’m excited for him,” McDermott said. “I’m excited for our football team and excited to see and watch him prepare this week more so than anything at this point.”