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Doug Marrone not yet ready to say Bills have a kicking competition

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said he'll wait until rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins is 100 percent healthy before deciding whether he will need to compete with veteran Dan Carpenter for the job.

"I'm going to wait to make that decision," Marrone said today. "Right now, what we have is Dan's out there playing for us and we're happy."

Carpenter made a good case for the job in Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He bounced back from missing a 42-yard attempt by hitting from 55 yards.

"It's always nice to make them. It's nice to know the coaching staff has confidence in my ability to make a kick like that, especially after what happened the kick before," he said after the game. "It was nice to get one through and hopefully I can continue to get better and get back to work for next week."

Carpenter added a 48-yard field goal later in the game, and converted the game-winning extra point.

"Right now Dan's our kicker and he's doing the best job and we appreciated that," Marrone said. 

Hopkins worked out today and kicked a Nerf ball as part of his rehabilitation.

"That was positive," Marrone said.

Along with Hopkins, guard Doug Legursky (knee) and safety Jairus Byrd (feet) are "moving in the right direction," according to the coach.

"I think right now we're in a positive mode of rehabilitation with them," he said. "It's one of those things, we'll just see day to day."

The Bills came through the game against the Panthers without any significant new injuries to report.


Dan Carpenter | Doug Legursky | Doug Marrone | Dustin Hopkins | Jairus Byrd
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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 |