Will the Bills be able to continue the success of last week's win at Kansas City? The Oakland Raiders bring their punishing running game to town Sunday. News Sports Reporters Rodney McKissic, Mark Gaughan and Jerry Sullivan take a look at the matchup.
September 14, 2011 - 4:49 PM
The Raiders may be without starting receiver Jacoby Ford and starting free safety Michael Huff. Both were hurt Monday in Denver, and neither practiced Wednesday. Ford injured a hamstring, Huff a groin.
Tight end Kevin Boss, a free-agent signee from the Giants, was back at practice for the first time since he hurt his left knee on Aug. 20. Also not practicing were defensive tackle Richard Seymour, receiver Louis Murphy and backup strong safety Mike Mitchell. Seymour is the only one of those three likely to play Sunday.
Huff's backup is Matt Giordano, a seventh-year player who has six career starts, the last in 2008. Murphy is Oakland's No. 3 receiver. If he's out, next in line would be Chaz Schilens, a fourth-year player, and Nick Miller, a third-year man. Schillens had 29 catches in '09, just five last year. Miller has three career catches.
The Raiders had 15 penalties against the Broncos. Coach Hue Jackson took the unusual step of having three officials work Wednesday’s practice.
September 14, 2011 - 2:45 PM
Bills defensive tackle Torell Troup was participating to some degree in practice today out on the grass field behind the team's fieldhouse. Troup sat out the opener with a sore lower back. It would be good to have him available for this week's game against Oakland and its power running game.
However, Troup is very questionable for the game. Asked how Troup is doing, coach Chan Gailey said: "Better. He’s going to try to get out there and do some things today but it will be very, very limited."
Kellen Heard, a 340-pounder, got a few snaps in the Kansas City game. He's going to have to play some to give the Bills' starters a breather if Troup isn't ready again this week.
Terrence McGee is out with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Reggie Corner was on the field practicing today. The Bills only used five defensive backs on the field at one time against the Chiefs. If they have to go to a six-DB grouping, Corner would be on the field this week. The Raiders almost never used four wide receivers last season. But they have a new offensive coordinator in Al Saunders, and they did use four wides at Denver.
"How much time he’s going to see, I don’t know," Gailey said of Corner. "I think that probably depends on what they play offensively. I could see him being in some of our dime packages if they end up creating dime situations. How much of that, I don’t know."
Meanwhile, Gailey would not comment on the long-term prospects for receiver Marcus Easley, out with a heart condition. Gailey said it was difficult seeing the second-year receiver's season end. (He's on injured reserve.)
“It’s hard. It’s hard for our football team, but it’s hard for him," Gailey said. "After what he went through last year and then to get right on the cusp of being there this year, not being able to do it. We sat and talked yesterday about it and it hurts him. And I hurt for him.”
September 14, 2011 - 2:33 PM
The Bills' defense last week fended off the challenge of last year's No. 1 rushing team - Kansas City. This week they face last year's No. 2 run team - Oakland. Bills coach Chan Gailey says this is tougher run-defense assignment.
“They’re trying to run the football and throw it vertically down the field," Gailey said of the Raiders. "That’s who they are. Last week (the Raiders' win over Denver) was evidence that they look like they’re very good at it. Last week was a challenge in the run game; this will be a bigger challenge in my opinion.”
Why? “Because they’re so massive up front and their backs are big and strong and downhill," Gailey said. "Last week it was edge and hitting a crease, dip, dart. This is right at you, here we come, see if you can stop us.”
Raiders back Darren McFadden rushed for 150 yards in Oakland's 23-20 win at Denver Monday.
September 14, 2011 - 9:33 AM
The Bills today announced the signing of cornerback Reggie Corner to the 53-man roster. To make room for him, undrafted rookie linebacker Robert Eddins was placed on the injured reserve list. Corner was a fourth-round draft choice of the Bills in 2008 and saw extensive playing time in passing situations the past three seasons. He was cut by the Bills on the final roster cutdown two weeks ago. Corner comes back with Terrence McGee expected to be out for several weeks due to a hamstring injury suffered on the first play from scrimmage Sunday in Kansas City.
September 13, 2011 - 5:46 PM
---Buffalo Bills second-year wide receiver Marcus Easley, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday, has been diagnosed with a heart ailment a source told The Buffalo News. It is unclear about the specifics of Easley’s condition or whether it’s career threatening.
Easley left last Friday’s practice early with what was termed an illness and missed the season opening victory at Kansas City.
September 13, 2011 - 2:41 PM
The illness that forced Marcus Easley to miss the season opener is clearly a much more serious issue, as the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday placed him on injured reserve.
It's the second straight year the wide receiver from Connecticut has missed the entire season. Bills coach Chan Gailey on Monday refused to say what Easley's ailment is, choosing instead to let the player make that announcement if he so chooses.
To take Easley's place on the 53-man roster, the Bills brought back wide receiver Ruvell Martin. He was released last week after initially surviving final cuts.
The Bills also released quarterback Levi Brown from the practice squad and signed cornerback Terrence Wheatley to the squad. Wheatley was a second-round pick (62nd overall) of the New England Patriots in 2008.
September 12, 2011 - 7:01 PM
News Sports Reporters Jay Skurski and Milt Northrop answered your questions about the Bills and NFL today directly into the camera.
September 12, 2011 - 5:08 PM
The Buffalo Bills' depth in the defensive backfield will be put to the test starting Sunday against Oakland.
Cornerback Terrence McGee's hamstring injury is "not good," according to coach Chan Gailey, and will keep him out of the lineup for at least a few weeks.
That means Drayton Florence and Leodis McKelvin are the starters, and rookie second-round draft pick Aaron Williams will see a lot more time on the field when the Bills go to their nickel or dime packages.
Williams got a passing grade from coach Chan Gailey after his first game.
"He did ok. The problem with that, with his situaton in the game, was he didn't get many reps during the week. He made a mistake I think on all of the first three plays he was in there. Then he settled down and played a lot better as the game went on. He'll be just fine. ... I think he's going to be a good player for us."
Behind McKelvin, Florence and Williams on the depth chart is rookie seventh-round draft pick Justin Rogers.
Gailey said the team will do its due diligence this week in looking for veteran help at the position.
The injury news was better for linebacker Shawne Merriman. He said other than the usual soreness that comes after a game, his shoulder was fine and he does not anticipate missing any practice time.
Gailey also provided an update on second-year receiver Marcus Easley, who missed Sunday's game with an undisclosed illness. Easley has already been ruled out of the home opener Sunday against Oakland.
"It's gotten a little more prolonged than we thought," Gailey said. "We're going to have to get more evaluation on him and see exactly where that's going to go. He won't be ready this week for sure. I know what it is, but I don't think I ought to say. I think he ought to say if anybody does."
September 12, 2011 - 2:55 PM
News Sports Reporters Jay Skurski and Milt Northrop answer your questions directly into the camera for a half-hour beginning at 6 p.m. Submit your questions in the console below.
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