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Bills place kicker Dustin Hopkins on injured reserve

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills opened up a spot on their 53-man roster today to promote quarterback Thad Lewis by placing rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins on injured reserve.

Hopkins, 23, joined the Bills as a sixth-round draft choice out of Florida State in April. He beat out veteran Rian Lindell for the team's kicking job in training camp, but suffered a groin injury prior to the start of the regular season and has not appeared in a game.

Bills coach Doug Marrone said Hopkins, who returned to practice on a limited basis last week, is still not able to perform kickoffs, which is why the team made the move.

"The problem was that we were bringing him along, we were one step in kicking field goals. The bigger issue is once we did the kickoff, which is obviously a much different type of movement, then it was like 'whoa.' So we didn't really know where we were until we got to that step. ... That movement is far behind," Marrone said.

Veteran Dan Carpenter was signed to fill in for Hopkins and has been a reliable replacement. Carpenter missed his first field goal of the season, but has gone 11 of 12 since, including two makes from 50-plus yards.


Dan Carpenter | Doug Marrone | Dustin Hopkins
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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 |