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Frank Gore tops depth chart, but here comes Devin Singletary

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Singletary could have value in both pass and rush games (1:09)

Matthew Berry and Field Yates have even more confidence in Devin Singletary now that they've seen how the Bills plan to use him. (1:09)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Who is the Buffalo Bills’ No. 1 running back?

Coach Sean McDermott made it clear Wednesday that the pecking order in his team's backfield begins with Frank Gore, then comes rookie Devin Singletary, then T.J. Yeldon -- the same order listed on the Bills' depth chart in Week 1, before Singletary topped Gore and Yeldon in playing time with 45 offensive snaps to a combined 21.

Singletary was a crucial component of the Bills' 17-16 win against the New York Jets, compiling 98 total yards on nine touches, including 75 yards in the fourth quarter.

Still, McDermott was flippant when asked whether the terms "feature back" and "No. 1 back" were mutually exclusive.

"Feature back, No. 1 back. How about just running back?" he said Wednesday. "Does that work? Just running back.

"We're just trying to win games. Whoever helps us win games, that's who our feature back is, I guess."

The Bills' running back situation was fluid following a 2018 season in which quarterback Josh Allen led the team in rushing. Buffalo signed Gore and Yeldon before drafting Singletary in the third round, creating what the team described as a committee. But after LeSean McCoy was released before the start of the regular season, the question of exactly who the Bills' top back would be became even more prevalent.

Beyond what coaches say about the notably "unofficial" depth chart the team releases before game day, Singletary was clearly one of the better playmakers on an offense that added several new ones over the past few months. If recent history is any indication, he will be the first running back on the field this Sunday against the New York Giants -- although the Bills have expressed confidence in all three backs.

"We're just taking things one day at a time with this guy," offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said of Singletary. "He made a couple big plays for us; we’ve got a lot of confidence in him. We're going to keep grinding him and getting him better. He's got a lot of talent, but we think all of our backs do."

Singletary and Gore have a mentor-mentee relationship; like many young running backs from Florida, Singletary grew up looking to Gore as a role model.

"He helped me out a lot," Singletary said. "At the end of the day, football is football -- he let me know that. Don't get too high, don't get too low, just stay in the middle."

But that relationship hasn't dulled the competitive juices in practice, where the rookie has tried to match the future Hall of Famer's energy at every opportunity.

"Just kind of feeding off each other's energy," Singletary said. "If he makes a good block, I'm trying to get a good block. If he makes a good run, I'm trying to get a good run -- that kind of competition."

Singletary should get the first crack at a Giants defense that surrendered 63 total yards and a touchdown to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Giants were gashed through the air, however, and the Bills could take a similar approach.

Regardless, Singletary is ready to make the most of his touches -- whenever they might come.

"I knew there's four quarters of football," Singletary said after the Jets game. "If I don't touch the ball as far as running one quarter -- if that's how we're going to win, that's what it is. So I wasn't anxious at all."