ORCHARD PARK — With LeSean McCoy resting, and Frank Gore limited to two series, rookie running back Devin Singletary got the Buffalo Bills off to a running start in their preseason-opening 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.
On Buffalo's fourth drive, Singletary showed off the shiftiness that to led the Bills drafting him in the third round. He accounted for 16 yards rushing and 21 receiving as part of a 46-yard drive that ended with Matt Barkley hitting Cam Phillips for an 8-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring 5½ minutes into the second quarter.
The Colts struggled on offense while sitting out numerous starters, including starting quarterback Andrew Luck, who is nursing a strained left calf.
Backup Jacoby Brissett finished 2 of 5 for 21 yards over three series, with both completions to offseason free-agent addition Devin Funchess.
Indianapolis combined for two first downs and 44 yards over its first seven series. Backup Phillip Walker then ended the half by putting together a five-play 41-yard drive, capped by Cole Hedlund hitting a 42-yard field goal to cut Buffalo's lead to 14-3.
Though running back wasn't a need entering the draft for Buffalo, general manager Brandon Beane said he couldn't pass up selecting the 5-foot-7 Singletary, who scored 66 touchdowns during his three-year college career at Florida Atlantic. Beane cited a scouting note he jotted down in referring to Singletary as "the funnest guy I've watched all year."
Singletary's best play on the scoring drive was a 7-yard run up the middle on third-and-7, when Kemoko Turay whiffed in making a tackle, and Singletary broke another tackle before finally being brought down at the Colts 10.
Senorise Perry also scored on a 1-yard run, and running back TJ Yeldon followed an inconsistent training camp by losing a fumble at the Indianapolis 20.
Bills starter Josh Allen completed 6 of 11 attempts for 66 yards over two series, the second ending with veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka hitting the left upright on a 34-yard field-goal attempt.
With his Pro Football Hall of Fame uncle Jim Kelly in the stands, Colts quarterback Chad Kelly scored on a 33-yard scamper in accounting for three scoring drives — including two field goals — after taking over midway through the third quarter. Kelly, who grew up in Buffalo and has had a checkered college and pro career, finished 13 of 19 for 121 yards and 53 yards rushing.
Bills running back Christian Wade, who is giving football a shot after growing up in England playing rugby, scored on a 65-yard run on Buffalo's first play from scrimmage after Kelly scored.
Colts backup offensive lineman Ian Silberman was transported to a Buffalo-area hospital for precautionary reasons because of what the team called an abdominal medical issue before kickoff. The team had no other details on the player's status.
Among the Indianapolis notables who did not play were TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle, DE Jabaal Sheard (knee), PK Adam Vinatieri, and rookies, LB Ben Banogu and WR Parris Campbell due to hamstring injuries.
Players, coaches and officials were forced to clear the field just after 5 p.m. because of a severe thunderstorm blowing in off Lake Erie. Teams began returning to the field after about a 40-minute delay. The opening of the gates was delayed by 15 minutes, with fans not allowed in until 75 minutes before kickoff, but the game started on time.
The Colts are accustomed to experiencing nasty weather in Orchard Park, New York. During their previous visit on Dec. 10, 2017, the first half of the game was played in near white-out conditions due to a heavy snowstorm, and ended with McCoy scampering 21 yards for a touchdown on a snow-covered field to seal Buffalo's 13-7 overtime win.
Colts: Host Cleveland Browns on Aug. 17.
Bills: Hold joint practices with Panthers in South Carolina before playing at Carolina on Aug. 16.