Jon Feliciano’s return gives Bills offensive line a much needed boost

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) talks to his teammates in the huddle during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Nasty, tough, physical, mean, these are all just a few ways Bills offensive lineman Jon Feliciano’s style of play has been described as.

“That’s just how I play, I don’t know anything else,” Feliciano said.

And they are traits the Bills offensive line has been lacking so far this season.

“Jon Feliciano brought back the swagger, the juice, just the killer instinct. Jon’s impact, he came back with the will to want to win and it gave us that extra push just to have our guy back,” Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins said.

Feliciano played in his first game this season on Sunday after missing the first seven games with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered before training camp started.

“For myself it was obviously bigger than just the game itself regardless of who the opponent was. I mean the grind that it took to get back here, two surgeries it was a lot of things and it was a big game,” Feliciano said.

The Bills beat the Patriots 24-21 in a game where they were able to get their running game going for the first time this season. It’s an area offensively they’ve struggled with but against New England rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns.

Rookie running back Zack Moss had a career day with 81 yards and two of those touchdowns and his second one, he certainly got a boost from Feliciano as he pretty much dragged him into the end zone.

“It was huge I mean just from the time I came in and I watched him work in the offseason before his injury we knew we had a dog in him,” Moss said after the game.

“Just getting him back that just kind of energized the entire offensive line, it helps us as running backs and as a team overall so it was huge to get him back and go out there and watch him work.”

“Jon’s a big part of what we try and do here and certainly a big part of the offensive line and you know we haven’t had him and I think that added to our identity today,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.

Feliciano started at right guard last season but against the Patriots he started in place of Cody Ford at left guard. During the week leading up to the game he said he didn’t know where he would play until closer to game time but that he played left guard in Oakland and in college.

But center Mitch Morse got hurt the third play of the game and did not return with a concussion so they slid Feliciano over to center for the rest of the game.

“We didn’t know obviously that he was gonna have to play the whole game there, we thought maybe he’d be able to pitch count because it being his first game back but incredibly proud of the offensive line and now we’ve got to do it again. It’s gotta be a consistent thing and a consistent mindset,” McDermott explained.

“I love playing center, being able to go out there and I mean the center position the offense is really counting on you more and I love that pressure. Coming into the league I was always the backup center in Oakland so I mean my habits don’t really change,” Feliciano said.

“Just a smart, tough, dependable player that when he was available for us we count on and credit to him being prepared and ready to go particularly when that incident happened with Mitch being able to pop back in at center. Good comfortable level with him in there,” Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said.

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