Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bills' Unga facing 'biggest opportunity I've ever had'


Ready or not, offensive lineman J.J. Unga's number has been called.

Signed less than a month ago off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad, the 26-year-old has had little time to acclimate himself to the Buffalo Bills' playbook, let alone much in-game experience to draw from.

His limited time last week against Tampa Bay will have to do, however, as right guard Kraig Urbik is currently in a walking boot, which likely means Unga will have at the very least have another limited role in Sunday's road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Everything came all at once, and like you said I’ve only been here for a little while, maybe like two weeks, three weeks, so yeah, everything kind of just jumped out," Unga told reporters Wednesday. "I feel like I still have a lot to learn, a lot more plays to learn, but I feel comfortable enough right now.

"This is the biggest opportunity I’ve ever really had, so like I said before, I just want to take this opportunity and show them what I can do."

The former Mustang was signed by the Bills on Nov. 20 and appeared in only seven snaps in last week's 27-6 loss. He played both left and right tackle in college at Midwestern State, appearing in 20 games in his collegiate career, but has since switched to guard. 

The extent of Unga's participation this weekend likely won't be clear until game time, as coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday he won't be able to make a definitive call on Urbik until right before kickoff. He did say, however, that regardless of Urbik's progression this week, Unga will be prepping for the worst- (or best-) case scenario.

"I think it's going to be a gametime decision," Marrone said, via "I won't be able to update you during the week, saying, 'He's closer,' or 'He's not closer.' I really think it'll go all the way to the end.

"If Kraig is available then we’re probably going to increase J.J.’s reps anyways depending on the limitations on Kraig. If Kraig’s not, we’ll put J.J. in there and go. We’ll see."

Follow Dan @DanBegnoche
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily