Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Bills make 18 cuts, send three to injured reserve

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills made several roster moves today in advance of the 6 p.m. Saturday deadline to reduce their roster to 53 players.

Released/waived

  • Quarterback Matt Leinart
  • Running back Zach Brown
  • Running back Kendall Gaskins
  • Wide receiver Brandon Kaufman
  • Tight end Dorin Dickerson
  • Tight end Nick Provo
  • Center David Snow
  • Guard Antoine Caldwell
  • Guard Zack Chibane
  • Tackle Zebrie Sanders
  • Defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert
  • Defensive end Kourtnei Brown
  • Linebacker Keith Pough
  • Linebacker Brian Smith
  • Cornerback Crezdon Butler
  • Cornerback T.J. Heath
  • Cornerback Jordan Dangerfield
  • Cornerback Kip Edwards

Injured reserve

  • Quarterback Kevin Kolb (concussion)
  • Fullback Drew Smith (thumb)
  • Wide receiver Brad Smith (ribs)

Points after: Lions 35, Bills 13

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' exhibition loss to Detroit Lions tonight in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: On one hand, nothing. It's the preseason. But getting outscored 65-13 over a seven-quarter span could mean a little something. The Bills are trying to change a culture of losing, and with several depth players in the spotlight and fighting for jobs, few showed any life.

Matt Leinart does little: The Heisman Trophy winner looked like a quarterback who didn't know the offense. Because he didn't. He signed with the Bills four days ago. But I'm certain he hoped for better than three completions on 10 attempts for 11 yards and two interceptions that each led to a Lions touchdown one play later. He also was sacked once. His career could be over.

Down on the corners: Buffalo's cornerbacks were atrocious, leading to some gaudy stats for Detroit backups Shaun Hill and Kellen Moore. Matthew Stafford was plagued by overthrows and dropped passes, or else the score would have been more lopsided. T.J. Heath and Crezdon Butler had particularly rough performances, allowing big plays and committing penalties.

Bills star of the game: Thad Lewis didn't look too shabby for someone who just showed up. With limited knowledge of the playbook, he scrambled on just about every play. He completed seven of 16 passes for 132 yards and a long touchdown with no interceptions. He ran seven times for 51 yards.

Play of the game: Midway through the fourth quarter, wide receiver Marcus Easley got a step on a defender up the right sideline. Lewis hit Easley in stride for a 79-yard touchdown.

Unfair night for receivers: One of the most interesting battles was at wide receiver. Easley, Brad Smith, Chris Hogan and Brandon Kaufman needed opportunities, but with a pair of backup quarterbacks, there weren't many quality throws to go around. With eight minutes left in the game, Bills wide receivers had three catches for 12 yards.

Injury report: Rookie receiver Marquise Godwin left at the end of the first quarter and didn't return after getting poked in the eye. ... Hogan was hurt on the second-half kickoff. He remained down before walking off with a limp but returned to the game. ... Smith was in the locker room having his ribs checked out in the third quarter. ... Left guard Doug Legursky was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent left knee injury.

Penalty rundown: The Bills had trouble with penalties throughout the preseason. They had nine for 74 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, 14 for 106 yards against the Minnesota Vkings, seven for 38 yards against Washington and nine for 60 yards tonight.

Coming up: The Bills open their regular-season schedule Sept. 8 against the New England Patriots in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

What to look for in tonight's Lions at Bills blockbuster

By Tim Graham

Yes, that headline is sarcasm.

But as far as exhibition finales go, there's some interesting stuff to monitor.

Here are a handful of things I'll be looking for tonight, when the Buffalo Bills wrap up their preseason against the Detroit Lions in Ralph Wilson Stadium:

What in the world is going on at quarterback? We won't get any definitive answers for opening day until presumptive starter EJ Manuel's injury status is known. In the meantime, we have undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel and two guys who weren't Bills five days ago. Matt Leinart wasn't even in the league. Thad Lewis was fourth-string with Detroit. How coach Doug Marrone divvies up the reps will be interesting, especially for Leinart. The former Heisman Trophy winner might be suiting up for his final chance to stay in the NFL.

Cornerbacks in focus. Buffalo's best, Stephon Gilmore, will be out six to eight weeks after surgery to repair a broken wrist. The next-best cornerback was in disconcerting dispute when Gilmore was healthy. So now what? Leodis McKelvin would appear to have one spot cinched up, while Crezdon Butler, Justin Rogers, T.J. Heath and Ron Brooks jockey for the other assignments.

One last look at the wide receivers. It's totally unfair that players such as Brad Smith, Chris Hogan, Marcus Easley and Brandon Kaufman are down to their last audition and will have to track down passes from Leinart and Lewis. The Bills have difficult decisions to make after the top four: Stevie Johnson, T.J. Graham, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin.

Strong undercard battle for the third running-back role. C.J. Spiller is away from the team to mourn with his family after Saturday's tragedy in Lake Butler, Fla. Fred Jackson will be preserved. That leaves beaucoup carries for Tashard Choice, Kendall Gaskins and Zach Brown. Expect the Bills to run as much as they can tonight given their quarterback situation.

Stephon Gilmore out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills will be without top cornerback Stephon Gilmore for 6-8 weeks because of a broken wrist.

Coach Doug Marrone delivered that sobering news following practice today. Gilmore, 22, was hurt during the Bills' 30-7 loss to the Washington Redskins on Saturday.

"We felt really good about him and he's put a lot of work in to try to be the best player at his position. I give him a lot of credit for that," coach Doug Marrone said. "He's really had an outstanding camp and has really played extremely well for us. It’s unfortunate the amount of work that he’s put in, but to be in a situation now where he’s not going to be able to participate for a period of time.

"Whenever you lose a player like that -- we consider a very good player -- someone has to step up and play that position."

Continue reading "Stephon Gilmore out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist" »

Day 17: Stephon Gilmore fine after a scare

By Jay Skurski

PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills fans can take a deep breath.

Second-year cornerback Stephon Gilmore left practice this evening at St. John Fisher College to have his right foot looked at, but coach Doug Marrone said afterward that he should be fine.

"It was just a toe," Marrone said on the practice field at St. John Fisher College. "Obviously we kept him out here, so it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Just a re-taping and he should be fine."

Gilmore was looked at by head trainer Bud Carpenter on the sideline, with Marrone and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine stopping by to check in on him. After putting his cleat back on, he watched the rest of practice.

The Bills were without defensive tackle Jay Ross tonight, who was dressed for practice, but was excused as his wife was set to deliver a baby.

Missing practice were quarterback EJ Manuel and defensive end Kourtnei Brown, who rode a stationary bike on the sideline.

Highlights from the two-hour session on the turf field included an interception by defensive lineman Marcell Dareus off a tipped ball thrown by Jeff Tuel. Dareus then had the sold-out crowd of about 5,000 at Growney Stadium roaring as he rumbled to the end zone.

Rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso continues to make plays, as he knifed into the backfield to blow up a run play by Zach Brown, then came back to break up a pass over the middle three plays later.

Linebacker Manny Lawson came in for a sack of Tuel during the second set of 11-on-11 drills, and a short time later things got testy.

After a completion to Brandon Kaufman, cornerback Jumal Rolle got over-aggressive in trying to rip the ball out after the play was whistled dead. Kaufman replied with a shove, then Rolle ripped his helmet off and gave a violent shove back before teammates intervened.

On the next play, linebacker Arthur Moats and guard Zach Chibane exchanged words after a brief skirmish.

In the fourth and final 11-on-11 session of the night with Tuel at quarterback, Crezdon Butler recorded an interception that he took back for a touchdown.

The Bills’ final practice at St. John Fisher comes Wednesday, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Mario Williams scratched for Bills; Adrian Peterson to play?

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have not announced why, but defensive end Mario Williams won't play tonight against the Minnesota Vikings in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Here are all of the Bills' scratches:

  • Receiver Stevie Johnson
  • Receiver T.J. Graham
  • Guard Keith Williams
  • Defensive end Koutnei Brown
  • Defensive end Mario Williams
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers
  • Cornerback Crezdon Butler

Bills receiver Brad Smith is in uniform after missing the preseason opener with a hamstring injury, and middle linebacker Kiko Alonso is dressed even though coach Doug Marrone said Alonso woudn't play tonight.

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, last year's rushing leader, will dress for his preseason debut. The only Vikings listed as not being in uniform are fullback Jerome Felton, cornerback Jacob Lacey and defensive tackle Christian Ballard.

Defense shows no mercy in second minicamp practice

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills' defense ended the second minicamp practice of the week in all-out piranha mode Wednesday.

It was a feeding frenzy of sacks as the Bills' first-string offense under quarterback Kevin Kolb tried to move downfield in a two-minute drill in need of a touchdown.

Kolb managed to elude a rush and improvise a quick-thinking throw over the middle to Fred Jackson for a gain of about 25 yards on a third-down play.

After that, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine dialed up four straight blitzes and ended the series with four straight sacks.

"I'm glad Coach Pettine's on our team, that's for sure, and all those guys they have out there," said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. "Any time you have a defense like we're facing, every single day it's going to be a roller-coaster of emotions. I mean, they're bringing everybody from every place and you have to do your best to try to get a foundation and make things happen.

"There's some things that do good and other things that you're just putting your hand on top of your head and just trying to get to the next play."

Continue reading "Defense shows no mercy in second minicamp practice" »

Advertisement

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

Subscribe

Advertisement