The Bills will start veteran quarterback Derek Anderson this week against the Colts — head coach Sean McDermott made it official with an announcement Wednesday.
The Bills signed the 35-year-old last week and will get the nod as rookie Josh Allen is considered week-to-week with an elbow injury.
"Josh has an elbow sprain. We’ll list him as week-to-week and there is no plan at this point for surgery, but he will be out this week," McDermott said. "With that, Derek Anderson will be our starter. Derek is a guy that I’ve been around in Carolina. He brings experience, leadership presence to the table, and he’s worked hard in the last week or two, week and a half here to get himself up to speed."
Anderson will start over Nathan Peterman, who has continued to struggle in his second year with the team, most recently throwing a game-deciding pick-six against the Texans on Sunday. The head coach said Peterman's poor performances was part of the decision to start Anderson, but not all of it. He said he wasn't afraid of losing the trust of his players either.
"I’m always going to do what I feel is right for this football team," McDermott said. "I certainly trust and have a heck of a lot of respect for our locker room, so with that, I’m always going to do what I feel is right for this football team. That’s what we do."
McDermott says this is an opportunity for Allen to learn from an experienced pro.
"The great part about it right now is [that] he can watch a veteran handle things the way it’s supposed to be handled in terms of the walk through that we just came from, practice," McDermott said. "This will give Josh a front row seat to experience that."
Anderson is a 13-year veteran in the NFL who's spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and most recently the Carolina Panthers — of which McDermott was the defensive coordinator.
Anderson's career record as a starter is 20-27 and he's thrown for 10,413 yards on a 54.1 completion percentage with 60 touchdowns and 60 interceptions. He hasn't started a game since 2016.
The Bills will look to improve their 2-4 record against the 1-5 Colts this Sunday in Indianapolis at 1 p.m.