Astoria’s Jordan Poyer makes his official “game day” debut with his new team tonight when the Buffalo Bills host Minnesota at 7 p.m. EST at New Era Field.
Poyer is going through his fifth NFL training camp, and is expected to play the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Vikings.
Poyer spent the last four years with Cleveland, before signing with the Bills in the offseason. He has not played since suffering a lacerated kidney in Week 6 with the Browns last year, and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve.
The 26-year-old Poyer still finished last season with 39 total tackles in just six games, just four short of his career-high 43 tackles in 14 games with the Browns in 2015.
Poyer is slated to be one of Buffalo’s two starting safeties this year, as the Bills — looking to rebuild their defense — signed Poyer along with Green Bay’s Micah Hyde in the offseason.
Playing in the AFC East, Poyer and the Bills will face Tom Brady and the world champion New England Patriots twice a season. Poyer’s only West Coast appearance this year will be Nov. 19 at the Los Angeles Chargers.
In an interview on the Bills’ website last month, Poyer said Buffalo’s games with New England will be “definitely something I’m looking forward to. I’ve played them a couple times the last couple years. I’m excited.”
After graduating from Astoria High School in 2009, Poyer played four years at Oregon State before he was drafted by Philadelphia in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft.
He played three games with the Eagles in 2013 before signing with Cleveland.
Poyer will wear No. 21 with the Bills.
When Poyer and Hyde signed with Buffalo as free agents, they both had to pick new numbers. They both wore 33 for their previous teams, and that number is already taken on the Bills by Colt Anderson.
“They had 21 and 23 available,” Poyer said. “We both looked at each other, which way are we going to go? So I just said off the rip, I’ll take 21.”
Based on how he was feeling the first time he had his full Bills uniform on for a team photoshoot, Poyer was happy with his choice.
“I’m going to rock it,” he said. “No significance behind it. I’m happy in a new place. New place, new number. In Cleveland I had 33. Philadelphia, I had 33. Putting that behind me. It’s a new place, I’m excited about being here. New place, new number.”