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Snap counts: Nigel Bradham busy in place of Manny Lawson

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills turned to Nigel Bradham on Sunday after linebacker Manny Lawson was hurt against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bradham played 39 of the Bills' 86 defensive snaps, or 45 percent. That's by far the busiest he has been all season. He played 19 defensive snaps (21 percent) against the New England Patriots in Week One, then did not have more than eight snaps over the next four games before Sunday.

"It's not what I expected, but it is what it is," Bradham said of his playing time. "Pretty much just have to be ready for your opportunity. Manny went down so I had to be able to just be ready and go out there and play."

Bradham said he spent a lot of time in practice last week reviewing Lawson's role.

"It's one of the things where it's a different scheme and we have so many different packages that you just have to be ready for all the packages and just be ready for whenever anybody gets hurt," he said.

Defensive end Jerry Hughes also got his most extensive playing time of the season against Cincinnati, thanks in part to Lawson's absence. Hughes played 88 percent of Buffalo's defensive snaps, 76 of 86.

Other noteworthy items from looking at the snap counts:

• Linebacker Kiko Alonso remains the only defensive player to have appeared in every play this season -- that's 467 straight plays.

• Safety Jim Leonhard took 83 of 86 defensive snaps Sunday. The rest of the numbers for the Bills' safeties were 88 percent for Da'Norris Searcy (76 of 86) and 48 percent for Jairus Byrd (41 of 86) in his first game of the season. Rookie Duke Williams also took one snap. It will be interesting to see how the Bills juggle playing time among Byrd, Searcy, Leonhard and Aaron Williams when he moves back to safety from cornerback. That will likely depend on how quickly cornerback Stephon Gilmore is 100 percent. Gilmore played 26 snaps Sunday (30 percent) with a club on his left hand to protect his wrist, which was broken in the preseason.

"He told me yesterday was a little awkward for him, especially with a big club like that. It's kind of hard for a cornerback to play with one arm. It's a game where you’ve got to be physical at the line. If you let a receiver off the line easily you'll lose 90 percent of the time," Williams said. "We'll see how Gilmore does this week, if he has a club or not this week. It all depends how he feels and who we have as far as cornerbacks. We still have guys a little beat up. We'll take it day by day."

• Doug Legursky looks to be the team's new starting left guard. He played 57 offensive snaps (83 percent) Sunday, while Colin Brown was on the field for just 12. 


Aaron Williams | Colin Brown | Da'Norris Searcy | Doug Legursky | Duke Williams | Jairus Byrd | Jerry Hughes | Jim Leonhard | Kiko Alonso | Manny Lawson | Nigel Bradham | Stephon Gilmore
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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 |