Jake Fromm returns to field, leads game-winning drive for Bills after year as ‘quarantine QB’


Bills quarterback Jake Fromm got his first in-game NFL action Friday. He operated as Buffalo’s third-stringer for the night and led the team on a game-winning drive in its preseason opener vs. the Lions.

Fromm ran the two-minute drill with ease and moved the Bills 55 yards in 11 plays. A perfectly placed throw to Marquez Stevenson put Buffalo in field goal range. Tyler Bass converted on the 44-yard kick to give the Bills a 16-15 win.

The drive was impressive. Fromm hadn’t played a live football game since New Year’s Day 2020 when he quarterbacked Georgia to a 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl to cap his college career.

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How the Bills used Jake Fromm as a rookie

It wasn’t an injury that sidelined Fromm for nearly a year and a half, however. Buffalo opted to have Fromm, a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, practice away from the team because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By keeping him socially distanced and isolated as a “quarantine quarterback,” the Bills would have a potential starter with system familiarity available if a COVID outbreak hit their quarterback room.

So Fromm learned the team’s system and prepared for action. He just wasn’t around the team much in person and hardly saw any real on-field action. That led to his first NFL season being “very tough.”

“Definitely just an interesting five, six months for me,” Fromm said in a press conference before the Bills-Lions game. “Very tough, very lonely at times.” 

But the experience has made Fromm appreciate the game more. And he enjoyed practicing in front of fans during this year’s Bills training camp.

“It was very different,” Fromm said of that practice session. “We were in the stadium last Saturday and it just felt like real football. It felt like you can go out, have fun, play loose, and be free. It’s been great.”

Fromm certainly looked loose on the game-winning drive. He finished with 8-of-13 passing for 65 yards. He’s still behind Davis Webb — who went 11 of 16 for 90 yards and a TD — on the depth chart, but perhaps his late-game heroics will make Sean McDermott reconsider the pecking order.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker | Top 200

Bills’ quarterback depth chart

The Bills’ quarterback depth chart seems to be set at the top two spots. Josh Allen will be the starter while veteran free-agent signee Mitchell Trubisky will back him up. The third spot will come down to Webb, a 2017 third-round pick of the Giants who has been with the Bills since 2019, or Fromm.

Webb spent last season on Buffalo’s practice squad while Fromm was on the 53-man roster. Webb is listed ahead of Fromm on the Bills’ current official depth chart.

Rank Player
1 Josh Allen
2 Mitchell Trubisky
3 Davis Webb
4 Jake Fromm

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