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How the locals fared: Week Eight

By Jay Skurski

Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:

Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product -- a rookie defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- played 11 defensive snaps (17 percent), making one tackle in a 31-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Means also seven snaps on special teams (24 percent).

Mike Williams: The Tampa Bay receiver -- a Buffalo native and Riverside product -- made three catches for 20 yards against the Panthers. He played 58 snaps (83 percent), but unfortunately, his season came to an end when the Bucs placed him on injured reserve Monday because of a torn hamstring. His season ends with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

James Starks: The Green Bay Packers running back, a Niagara Falls and University at Buffalo product, returned after missing three games because of a knee injury to rush for 57 yards on just seven carries, an average of 8.1 yards per carry, in his team's 44-31 win over Minnesota. Starks, who played just 11 offensive snaps, also scored his second touchdown of the season.

J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Packers in April, is on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he broke his ankle in May. He is eligible to come off the list and begin practicing. The team then must decide within three weeks to activate him to the 53-man roster or put him on injured reserve for the season.

Rob Gronkowski: The Amherst native played in his second straight game after missing the first six of the season following surgeries on his forearm and back in the offseason. Gronk played 50 percent of New England's offensive snaps (33 of 66), making two catches for 27 yards in a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Brett Kern: The Grand Island native was on a bye week with the Tennessee Titans. Kern punted six times for 263 yards in a 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week Seven. He put three of those punts inside the 20-yard line, and averaged a terrific 43.8 net yards. Only two of the six punts were returned, and those went for 0 yards.

Corey Graham: The Baltimore Ravens' cornerback, a Buffalo native and Turner/Carroll product, was on a bye. Graham played 28 defensive snaps (49 percent) in a 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week Seven, making four tackles and one pass defensed. He also played 11 snaps (44 percent) on special teams.

Note: Local players Dan Gronkowski, Chris Gronkowski Jeremy Kelley, Naaman Roosevelt and Doug Worthington are currently free agents. 

UB players

Josh Thomas: Thomas was made a healthy inactive for the Carolina Panthers by coach Ron Rivera in his team's 31-13 victory over Tampa Bay. Thomas was benched after allowing two completions of 60-plus yards in Week Seven against St. Louis (one was called back on a penalty). He has started five games this season for the Panthers.

Trevor Scott: Scott was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the team's 31-13 loss to Carolina. He had played in four games with the Bucs, making three tackles.


Brett Kern | Chris Gronkowski | Corey Graham | Dan Gronkowski | J.C. Tretter | James Starks | Jeremy Kelley | Josh Thomas | Mike Williams | Naaman Roosevelt | Rob Gronkowski | Steven Means | Trevor Scott
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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 |