Maybe it’s all but over, with Josh Allen one step away from becoming the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback.

His start in Sunday’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals — the third and typically the tune-up for the regular season — seems to strongly indicate that he will keep the job for the Sept. 9 opener at Baltimore.

‘It’s a young group’

But along the way, the Bills have had something that General Manager Brandon Beane said has been exceptional: three QBs who have been cohesive in Allen, Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron.

“It’s a young group and AJ’s the veteran,” Beane told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan during the recent SiriusXM NFL Radio training-camp tour stop at St. John Fisher College. “He hasn’t played that much in the league, but played some meaningful snaps. The thing that I’ve really appreciated is they’re all three competing for this job, but they’ve all worked together well, and I know that’s not always the case.”

‘We’re trying to give them as many meaningful reps as we can’

The battle was thrown a bit of a curve last Friday night when McCarron suffered what was originally thought to be a hairline fracture of the collarbone but what further testing showed to be a shoulder injury that has limited him in practice this week. Still, he remains in the mix.

“I know (offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll and (quarterbacks coach) David Culley really have done a great job of what we were able to install starting in May to the progression of minicamp in June to (training camp),” Beane said. “And I think all those guys are taking the next step and it’s going to be a good battle. It’s a hard time frame. We’re trying to give them as many meaningful reps as we can and let the best one stand out and start for us at Baltimore Week 1.”

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