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Chan Gailey has all but written off Tarvaris Jackson as No. 2

By Tim Graham

Looks like you can forget Tarvaris Jackson serving as the Buffalo Bills' backup quarterback, let alone replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick at some point.

The Bills two weeks before the regular season traded a conditional draft choice for Jackson and cut Vince Young. The move essentially saved Tyler Thigpen's job after a wretched preseason, but now it appears Thigpen will be the primary backup for the rest of the year.

"It would be very tough for Tarvaris to challenge for that spot this year because of limited reps," Bills head coach Chan Gailey told the club's official website. "Fitz takes almost every rep we have on offense during the course of the week. The backup gets very few reps through the course of practice. So it's hard for him to get the reps necessary to make a viable charge at this point for that position.

"We knew it would be a challenge. We knew that when we made the move, but we were hoping that we would be able to keep him around and keep him learning and eventually by osmosis pick up enough to help us if something were to happen later in the season."

The Bills also are paying Jackson a $1.75 million base salary. That's an expensive scout-team quarterback, and about $500,000 more than the Bills would have paid Young.

The Bills traded a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for Jackson, but it will become a sixth-rounder if Jackson is active for at least six games. Based on Gailey's comments, that probably won't happen unless Fitzpatrick or Thigpen gets hurt.


Chan Gailey | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Tarvaris Jackson | Tyler Thigpen | Vince Young
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |