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Bills sign Pears to contract extension

The Buffalo Bills signed right tackle Erik Pears to a contract extension today, the team announced. Terms of the deal have not yet been released.

Pears, a seven-year NFL veteran, has started all 13 games this season. He's brought stability to a position along the offensive line that has long lacked it. The Bills' line has given up just 17 sacks, fewest in the NFL, and have helped the team average an AFC-best 4.8 yards per rush attempt.

A 6-foot-8, 314-pound Colorado State product, Pears entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Denver in 2005. He has started 44 of 59 games played during stints with the Broncos (2005-08) and Oakland (2009) prior to joining the Bills as a free agent on Dec. 14, 2010.

"I can't thank this organization enough for believing in me and giving me a real opportunity," Pears said in an interview with the team's official website. "I look forward to building on what I've done and continuing to get better."

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Bills up to 11th in draft

The Bills moved up in position for the NFL Draft from 13th to 11th after last weekend's games. Wins by San Diego (over the Bills) and Seattle (on Monday night) moved those teams behind the Bills in the draft order.

The Bills still could move up if they lose out and finish 5-11.

Indianapolis has a virtual lock on the top spot with an 0-13 record. Minnesota and St. Louis both stand 2-11. There are six teams at 4-9 -- Cleveland, Washington, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Miami.

The Bills, Eagles and Chiefs stand 5-8. Kansas City's schedule currently ranks more difficult than the Bills. Philadelphia's is easier than the Bills. That puts the Eagles at the 10th spot and Chiefs at 12th. Kansas City's foes have 110 wins, Buffalo's 107 and Philly's 102.

Miami and Buffalo have almost identical schedules. Miami's foes have 109 wins. But if Miami beats the Bills on Sunday, that adds two more wins to the Bills' strength of schedule. If there is a tie in the strength of schedule, the draft order is determined by a coin flip. The Eagles' last three games are home vs. the Jets, at Dallas and home vs. Washington.

---Mark Gaughan

Bills Replay Chat

Monday Morning QB chat with Tim Graham

Game ball: Chargers 37, Bills 10

TE Chandler out for SD

Bills coach Chan Gailey said tight end Scott Chandler is out for Sunday's game in San Diego due to his sprained ankle. That means Mike Caussin and Lee Smith will share tight end duties in the game.

Meanwhile, cornerback Aaron Williams did not practice Friday due to a sore calf.

"Aaron didn't practice today but we're not going to list him out," Gailey said. "He's still got a chance if things go well tonight, tomorrow, with some work, who knows? He might play in a pinch."

Starting guard Chad Rinehart sat out but is expected to start. "Chad just tweaked something in his shoulder and we held him out for today, but we think it won't be an issue at all," Gailey said.

Safeties George Wilson (neck) and Jairus Byrd (shin) both practiced fully and are ready to start.

---Mark Gaughan

Inside the NFL chat with Mark Gaughan

Bills sign hoopster-turned-TE

The Bills signed tight end Fendi Onobun to the 53-man roster. He fills a spot created when kicker Rian Lindell went on the injured reserve list Thursday due to a shoulder injury.

Onobun played four years of college basketball for the University of Arizona from 2005 to 2009. He then played a year of college football with the University of Houston in the fall of 2009. A 6-foot-6, 263-pounder, he was a sixth-round draft pick of St. Louis in 2010 and played three games as a rookie before going on injured reserve. He spent time on the practice squads in Seattle and Washington this year, then spent one game on Jacksonville's active roster this year. He was waived by Jacksonville on Dec. 6.

Meanwhile, the Bills waived receiver Felton Huggins from the injured reserve list.

---Mark Gaughan

 

SoCal not fired up by Bills

The Bills Backers clubs will have a big presence at Sunday's Bills-Chargers game in San Diego. It wasn't enough, however, to ensure a sellout at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers announced about 5,000 tickets remain, and the game will be blacked out in Southern California. It's the second blackout of the season for the Chargers. The Bills have had one blackout so far, but are virtually assured of two more to close the season. The Chargers have one more home game after Sunday, vs. Baltimore, and that one is not yet sold out, either.

---Mark Gaughan

 

Kyle Williams upbeat on ankle

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams had surgery a month ago to repair a nagging bone spur in his left ankle. He got the cast off today and was watching practice in a walking boot in the fieldhouse.

Williams was upbeat about his health and said he will be healed in six months.

"I can already tell my ankle’s more flexible than it’s been in years," Williams said.

Williams' surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist in Charlotte, N.C.

"I’ve had a bone spur in my heel, under my Achilles (tendon) since college," Williams said. "It’s been there for years. Over time, it’s just gotten bigger and bigger and worse and worse. The last couple years it’s just been pretty steady in the sense of hurting. This year it just came to a head. It was eating away at my Achilles. From the way the doctor described it, it was kind of like a violin bow going across a string. It was fraying it a little bit. I had a small tear in my Achilles. He said from the way it was fraying and as jagged as the spur was, it looked like a little pick axe. He didn’t know if it was going to be one play or 10 plays but it was on the verge of rupture. If you do that from the time it ruptures you’re out a calendar year."

The fact the Achilles did not rupture made the surgery and his recovery much easier, Williams said.

"He was able to go in, take the Achilles up, clean all the spurring and everything off, put it back down," Williams said. "No issues. He said it went great. I ought to be good to go and feel as good as I’ve felt in my career … since college."

---Mark Gaughan

 


 

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