(UPDATED) The Bills were fielding a mixed batch of receivers in practice today, due to injuries. None of the five guys practicing at receiver were listed at receiver for the season opener.
However, it's expected the Bills' current top three at the position will be ready for the game against the New York Jets Sunday.
David Nelson sat out while recovering from illness that bothered him late last week.
"I'll be full go tomorrow," Nelson said after practice. "After the performance last week I'm very eager to get back on the field and get to work."
In the loss at Miami, Nelson saw a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick bounce off his hands and into the arms of a Dolphins player. It set up the Dolphins for a touchdown that put them ahead, 28-3.
"It was a rough week last week," Nelson said. "I kind of rolled my ankle a little bit in the Dallas game. I had a stomach flu last Thursday. I didn't eat for two or three days. I didn't feel very good before the game started. I was trying to play with it. I got hit and knocked the wind out of me, and I couldn't get right. They didn't feel like it was in my best interest to continue to play in the second half."
Stevie Johnson was working out in the weight room. He was resting, but he's expecting to be fine for Sunday. Donald Jones, of course, is on the injured reserve list due to his high ankle sprain. Naaman Roosevelt wasn't practicing, but he was in the locker room and is expected to be ready for the Jets game.
Working with the WR unit were Brad Smith, Ruvell Martin, Kamar Aiken, Derek Hagan and Tim Toone. Aiken and Hagan were just added to the active roster this week. Toone is on the practice squad.
The season-ending injury to cornerback Terrence McGee will thrust rookie Aaron Williams into the starting lineup against the New York Jets. Bills coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Williams, not Leodis McKelvin, will start opposite Drayton Florence.
It looks like strong safety George Wilson will miss another week due to his shoulder injury. Da'Norris Searcy would start in place of Wilson for a second straight week. Rookie cornerback Justin Rogers moved ahead of McKelvin at the nickel corner spot in Miami after McGee was injured. He's still working ahead of McKelvin.
“They’re doing better," coach Chan Gailey said of the rookie DBs. "Aaron and Da’Norris have played a lot more than Justin has, but both of those guys have played well. Da’Norris played well and Aaron for getting back full time for the first time in a while did a good job. They’ve got a lot to learn, don’t get me wrong, but for where they are they’re learning and getting better and competing hard. They just need experience.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan was fined $75,000 this week for cursing at a fan at halftime of last week's game in Denver.
On a conference call with Buffalo reporters today, Ryan reached back into hockey history when asked about what he would do differently as a result of the fine.
Said Ryan: "Well, I think I should have gone with the Jim Schoenfeld thing, you know, go get a donut or something like that probably would have been more appropriate. But you know what, I know that it’s something that I made a mistake and I know I represent the National Football League and I represent the Jets, and I made a mistake. It was real emotional at that time, and obviously I’ve got to choose my words much more wisely."
Schoenfeld, the former Buffalo Sabres great, was coaching the New Jersey Devils when he hollered at NFL referee Don Koharski to "eat another donut." (Video below.)
Ryan on the Jets' unexpected loss at the hands of the Denver Broncos last week: "We thought that we’d go there and win the game; that didn’t happen. That's the National Football League, you can’t schedule wins, or we would. We’d say, hey, we’ll play whoever. I’d much rather play the University of Buffalo than the Buffalo Bills."
Bills running back C.J. Spiller is eager to see more time at his natural position, running back, this week against the New York Jets. Spiller has been playing mostly at wide receiver the past month, but now must assume the No. 1 running back job with the injury to Fred Jackson.
Said Spiller: "I’ve been away from home. That’s kind of how I look at it. But it definitely feels good to start getting more running back reps … just getting into that mode, that mindset."
Spiller knows it will not be easy to run on the Jets.
"Any time you play a Rex Ryan defense there’s no dancing around," he said. "Them guys, they fly around, a lot of bodies moving. You’ve got to hit it as north and south as fast as possible. Whenever you see it you’ve got to get it. That’s typical NFL because those holes close quickly, especially against a good defense. You cant take nothing against these guys. It’s a great defense."
Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on the loss of Jackson: “It’s tough not having Fred out there on the field. We know where his heart is and where his mind’s going to be...with us. He’s not going to be able to be out there with us this week unfortunately, so we have to have the next guy step up. That’ll be CJ, and we expect big things out of CJ. We expect him to get in there and make big plays, and we’ll see how it goes. he’s going to get a chance.”
The Buffalo Bills' season took a major turn for the worse today with the news that star running back Fred Jackson is out for the year with a fracture to his fibula bone in his lower right leg.
Jackson was placed on the injured-reserve list by the Bills today. The injury is the latest blow to a Bills team (5-5) that has lost three straight games. The Bills also have lost starters Eric Wood, Donald Jones and Terrence McGee to injury the past two weeks.
Jackson's injury came late in the third quarter in Miami Sunday when the running back was hit hard from behind on his calf.
Jackson is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage through 10 games. He has 934 yards rushing and 442 yards receiving for a combined total of 1,376 yards. Chicago's Matt Forte leads the league with 1,391 scrimmage yards.
Jackson has accounted for 40 percent of the Bills' offense this season. The Jets' defense ranks seventh in the NFL in yards allowed and shut down the Bills' attack three weeks ago in a 27-11 New York victory.
The injury puts second-year man C.J. Spiller into the spotlight. He must step into Jackson's big shoes.
“It’s a huge blow for us," said Bills guard Andy Levitre. “Fred’s a great player. He was all-purpose for us. We could use him doing anything with our offense. We’re definitely gong to take a blow with that. We have some good guys behind him. C.J.’s ready to step up."
Another week, another pair of players placed on injured reserve for the Buffalo Bills.
Cornerback Terrence McGee and wide receiver Donald Jones are the latest two to go down, as both were placed on the season-ending list today. To take their place, the Bills signed a pair of wide receivers to the 53-man roster.
Kamar Aiken was promoted from the practice squad and the Bills signed Derek Hagan, who was most recently with the Oakland Raiders. Hagan played six games for Oakland this season including in Week Two against the Bills -- when he caught six passes for 51 yards. He was released by the Raiders on Nov. 2 when the team signed veteran T.J. Houshmanzadeh.
Hagan, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, was a third-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2006. The 27-year-old has also spent time with the New York Giants.
Aiken, 6-2, 212, had a good training camp as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida. He had seven receptions for 97 yards in the Bills' final three preseason games and has good speed, timing out at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
MIAMI -- Well, it just keeps getting worse. The Bills got humiliated by the Dolphins here today, 35-8, dropping their third straight to fall to 5-5 on the season. That's three consecutive blowouts by a combined score of 106-26. It's no longer a question of whether they'll make the playoffs, but whether they'll win another game. They might be the worst team in the NFL right now.
"I wish I could give you an explanation," said coach Chan Gailey. "I cannot give you an explanation of how we played effectively early in the year and we're not playing effectively now. We lost that one as a team. Every phases had problems, real problems.
"We're not very good right now," Gailey said. "That's the bottom line. We're not. If I knew exactly what the problem was, I'd solve it. It' s obviously not one thing. It's things that mounted up on us, and we're not able to execute the way we were earlier in the year and the way we're capable of."
Gailey admitted that the team's lack of depth has become an issue. With Eric Wood gone for the year, he moved Andy Levitre to center. Levitre had a rough day, misfiring on several of his snaps from the shotgun. Gailey said it was a mistake to use Levitre on a wet field. But he said he will probably go to Kraig Urbik at center from here on in.
The injuries continued to mount. Terrence McGee suffered a knee injury and is likely gone for the season. Donald Jones hurt his ankle again -- the one that cost him several games earlier this year -- and is expected to be sidelined from three to six weeks. Fred Jackson injured his calf and left the game early in the fourth quarter. Gailey didn't know if his star running back would miss time.
The Bills rushed for only 41 yards on 19 carries, by far a season low. They averaged 2.2 yards a carry against Miami . They had not averaged under 4 yards a run in any other game this season. Fitzpatrick was 20 for 39 passing for a 45.8 rating, his worst of the season and third week in a row below 52.0.
"It's embarrassing," said linebacker Chris Kelsay. "We've literally been getting beat up. Guys are just out-physicaling us. We aren't executing. Miami played a good game and we didn't. We've got to find some answers. I don't know what those are. I don't think anybody does at this point."