Christian Wade had never stepped onto a football field until just a few weeks ago, but now the rugby star could be running his way straight onto the Buffalo Bills roster.
The 28-year-old, who already had a stellar rugby career when he decided to try his hand at football and was given a spot in training camp for the Bills, has made the most of his limited touches so far this preseason. In the team's first game, he took his first and only carry 65 yards for a touchdown. In the second game, Wade caught his first-ever pass in the NFL -- and promptly took it 48 yards down to the 2-yard line.
The fast start for the Premiership Rugby league star is now sparking speculation about whether he could make the active roster in what is one of the most experienced backfields in NFL history. The Bills will be bringing back LeSean McCoy for his last year under contract and added veterans Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon. The three have a combined 28 years of NFL experience. The Bills also added promising rookie Devin Singletary, who is likely to have an important role on a team that has had one of the most run-heavy offenses in recent years.
As New York Upstate noted, Wade was allocated to the Bills as part of the NFL's growing international program. He had no football experience prior to training camp but has quickly gained buzz across the NFL for his playmaking ability. Even with the very crowded backfield, there is speculation that Wade's play could earn him a spot on the active roster. His home country of England seems particularly high on Wade's chances, with MailOnline Sport noting on Twitter that he is "closing in" on a roster spot.cThe Buffalo News noted that Christian Wade may have to wait another year to make the active roster, however.
"If Wade does get put on the practice squad, it's a major success," noted Bills beat writer Jay Skurski. "Give him a year to learn more about the game, and then we'll see if he can contribute in 2020. Keep in mind that LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and Senorise Perry are all in the final year of their contracts. There could be a spot for Wade down the road."
It's not clear yet what plans the Buffalo Bills may have for Christian Wade, but there may become a point that the team may not be safe to stash him on the practice squad without being poached by another team.