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Sam Young to fill swing role

By Jay Skurski

With Chad Rinehart's ankle injury being long term, the Buffalo Bills have now lost the two interior reserve offensive linemen they started the season with (Colin Brown is on injured reserve because of a torn hamstring).

That means Sam Young, who started the season as the team's fourth tackle, will now have to practice at both guard and tackle. The Bills also have David Snow on the 53-man roster, but as coach Chan Gailey said this week, he's more of a center at this point.

"Probably Sam has to be a jack of all trades knowing guard and tackle. David [Snow] been working more at center than he has anything else at this point. But he’s got to start learning the guard spot too," Gailey said. "It depends on how quickly we get [Kraig] Urbik back, how quickly we get Cordy [Glenn] back. We expect to have both of 'em hopefully for this ball game coming up."

If Glenn and Urbik do return for Week Nine's game against Houston, as expected, the Bills will have their starting five along the line from the season opener back together. But their depth, especially along the interior, is much thinner than when the season began.

Live chat: Inside the NFL with Mark Gaughan at 11 a.m.

Teammates defer to Kelsay on effort

By Mark Gaughan

Bills players this week deferred to veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay regarding his comments about defensive players not playing hard enough all the time. Teammates generally acknowledged his right to call for a higher standard of performance.

Said defensive end Kyle Moore: "Chris is a 10-year-plus vet. You have to listen to a guy like that. He’s been around. He’s sees. He’s been on defenses where they’ve stopped the run and just played great defense overall. When he starts calling guys out like that, guys need to listen and really take heed to what he says."

Receiver Stevie Johnson: "What Kelsay said is relevant. And coming from him, it has to be. So hopefully whoever he’s talking about is listening and we step it up for the rest of the season. ... I think it’s all good words. I don’t have a problem, I don’t have an issue with it at all."

Linebacker Nick Barnett: "I’m too busy trying to figure out what I do wrong and what I need to do better. As I look at the defense I think everybody can get better in a lot of different aspects, whether it’s effort or mentally."

Defensive end Shawne Merriman: "This is a brotherhood in here. You’re not helping the next guy out if you don’t pull him to the side and say hey we need to pick it up. I think we have numerous leaders in here capable of doing that."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams: "I think guys are playing hard, but there is a difference between playing hard and playing fast. What I mean by that is you play fast with your eyes. Do you know what you are looking at? Do you know what to expect?"

Running back Fred Jackson: "First, I do not think we are mentally weak, so to speak. I think it is just something we need to fine tune. We need to know where it is we need to be in the scheme. We have to bust our butts to do that. We have to rely on each other to be where we need to be to get things to go the way that we need them to. I think a lot of guys are just going to have to do some self-reflection during this bye week. Whatever it is you do to take your game to the next level, that is what we are going to have to do when we come back off of this bye week."

Kelsay on the feedback he got from his comments: "I think everybody’s on the same page. I’ve talked to a few of ‘em – Kyle, Nick and Fred, all those guys. Obviously I speak for the defense. I think we all see it the same way. We just need to come together and stay focused on the task at hand. It’s a long season we still have a lot of football left to play."

 

Video: The 'Mario's wrist' situation

The News' Mark Gaughan and Jay Skurski report from One Bills Drive as defensive end Mario Williams misses practice after undergoing a 'procedure' for his wrist injury.

 

Defensive tackle Alex Carrington fined $7,800 by NFL

By Jay Skurski

Bills defensive tackle Alex Carrington confirmed today to The Buffalo News he's been fined $7,800 by the NFL for an unnecessary roughness penalty he was assessed in the first quarter of Sunday's 35-34 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Carrington was flagged 15 yards following a kick return by Leodis McKelvin after the Titans' first touchdown. Carrington was blocking and knocked Titans linebacker Patrick Bailey to the ground.

"I don't agree. The play was still going. He was running toward the ball. Hopefully I'll get it [the fine]overturned or reduced or something," said Carrington, who will appeal the fine.

A review of the play seems to show Carrington has a good case. Bailey goes to the ground at almost the exact same time McKelvin is tackled.

Barnett on 83-yard TD run

By Mark Gaughan

Bills linebacker Nick Barnett acknowledged today he needed to contain Tennessee running back Chris Johnson from bouncing outside and breaking away on the speedy back's 83-yard touchdown run in Sunday's game.

Barnett charged the gap between left tackle and left guard and met the Titans' fullback in the hole on the play. But Barnett allowed Johnson to bounce to the outside. If Johnson had bounced up the inside part of the gap, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard would have been there to make a tackle.

“For me it definitely was a wrong shoulder, No. 1," said Barnett, referring to where he attacked the fullback. "The technique I was trying to do, which I had done earlier for the first two plays that I wrong-shouldered it, I pushed the fullback in there and got around the outside. This time he kind of bear-hugged me, and I don’t care what you say, it was holding. The first time, Shep got over fast, too, and the safety was down (near the line of scrimmage). I kind of was trying to do that technique at the wrong time. I knew that I was supposed to be the hammer but just tried to make the play as well.
So I’ll correct that. That won’t ever happen again. But I’ll still try to make plays. I can’t do that. I can’t be a robot."

 

Chan Gailey: Mario Williams has 'procedure' done on wrist

By Jay Skurski

Here's Chan Gailey's explanation of Mario Williams' absence from practice today, followed by his exchange with the Western New York media on the subject:

"The update on Mario is he had a procedure done to relieve some discomfort in his wrist and we expect him back for practice next week. That's all I know at this point."

Question: Was that procedure done in Houston, or here in Buffalo?

Gailey: "I have no idea."

Q: Was it done today?

Gailey: "I think it was yesterday."

Q: When and how was that decision made, Chan?

Gailey: "I don't know all that. They told me what happened and said he'll be ready next week, that's all I know right now."

Q: So you're not clear on exactly what the issue is with the wrist?

Gailey: "No."

Q: Is that his decision, or does he have to run it by team doctors?

Gailey: "I don't know how all that's made, I just know it happened."

Q: Does he have the potential to miss games?

Gailey: "No, he'll be at practice next week. That's what I understand. That's what I was told."

Q: Was it necessary given the fact that it's bothering him and it's the bye week?

Gailey: "That's when you take care of things, is bye week, if you've got some little things you can take care of, that's when you do it. Like we rested Andy [Levitre] today, he had some extra work done on him, so we just held him out to give him an extra day's rest. That's where you try to take care of all these little things.

Q: Is it a good thing for him [Williams] if he thinks it can help him?

Gailey: "Every advantage that you can get mentally for every player is great. Everything that makes them feel better about playing, it helps."

Q: How much did you see it hurting him or limiting him?

Gailey: "I can't evaluate that."

Q: Just to clarify, was it a surgical procedure? You said procedure.

Gailey: "I don't know exactly what it was to be honest with you. I don't know if they did something non-invasive or invasive. You can ask him, he'll be here Monday, you can ask him."

Williams, of course, does not speak with the media on Mondays, only Wednesdays and after games.

Mario Williams among six Bills not practicing before the bye

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills' one and only practice of their bye week does not include Mario Williams.

The team's star defensive end was not on the turf inside the fieldhouse this afternoon, and fellow defensive end Kyle Moore said today Williams is not at the facility, following last night's report from The News' Tim Graham that he is considering wrist surgery.

The Bills today denied an interview request for team trainer Bud Carpenter in regards to Williams' injury. Coach Chan Gailey will address the media at 2 p.m. at the conclusion of practice.

Also not practicing for the Bills are defensive end Mark Anderson, cornerback Terrence McGee, left guard Andy Levitre, guard Chad Rinehart and left tackle Cordy Glenn.

Glenn was working out on his own during the portion of practice open to the media. McGee left to work with a team trainer.

Chat replay: Bills & NFL with Jay Skurski

Source: Mario Williams contemplating wrist surgery

By Tim Graham

WilliamsMMugMario Williams' disappointing season might be on the verge of getting even more depressing.

Williams, the Buffalo Bills pass-rusher and record-holder for the NFL's richest defensive contract, is considering surgery on his injured left wrist while the team is on its bye, The Buffalo News has learned.

The Bills signed Williams in March to a six-year contract worth as much as $100 million, but his production hasn't justified the expense. He has noted his wrist injury is part of the problem.

Williams had no sacks, no quarterback hits and one solo tackle in Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Tennessee Titans in Ralph Wilson Stadium. He has 3.5 sacks this season, tying him for 32nd in the NFL.

The Bills had no comment tonight about Williams' possible surgery and deferred all questions to head coach Chan Gailey, who will conduct a regularly scheduled news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Williams' agent, Ben Dogra, didn't return messages left by The Buffalo News.

The Bills' other free-agent signee expected to improve the pass rush, defensive end Mark Anderson, has missed the past two games after knee surgery.

To be without Williams would be another blow to a defense that was supposed to be playoff-worthy but ranks at or near the bottom of the league in many cateogries. The Bills are in last place in the AFC East.

Williams and Gailey frequently have mentioned the wrist injury -- albeit in vague terms -- as a reason why the two-time Pro Bowler hasn't flourished since the regular season began.

Williams has blamed the wrist for his lack of production, although the Bills didn't think the problem was serious enough to list him on the NFL's official injury report until two weeks ago.

Williams and Gailey have insisted the wrist hasn't caused him to miss any practices, but the NFL last week fined the Bills $20,000 for violating the league policy on reporting injuries.

In explaining the fine, the NFL revealed Williams' wrist was sprained.

Gailey deflected questions about Williams' wrist injury Monday.

"I can't speak for him," Gailey said. "He's the one that's got to answer to that. I can't tell you whether he's being affected by it at all, or a little bit, or what it is. I can't tell."

When asked if he discusses the injury with Williams, Gailey replied, "No. I ask him how it's going, and he says it's all right."

Gailey admitted to reporters two weeks ago in Phoenix he's intentionally ambiguous about injuries when talking to the media.

Williams was unavailable to reporters Monday. He usually fields questions at his locker on Wednesdays.

"I need to play better, and I need to get healthy," Williams said after Sunday's loss. "It's No. 1 on my point.

"I can say this and you can take it however you want to take it, but it really don't matter to me. I really don't care what you think. At the end of the day I know I need to get physically back into things so I'm not hesitating."

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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