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Ed Reed to start for Jets; David Nelson will be captain

By Tim Graham

No major announcements when it comes to the scratches for today's game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

But the Jets have announced Ed Reed will start at safety. The Jets signed him three days ago after the Houston Texans cut him.

You also can bank on former Bills receiver David Nelson being a captain. Jets coach Rex Ryan likes to do that when his players go up against their old teams.

All the inactives:

New York Jets

  • Quarterback David Garrard
  • Running back Alex Green
  • Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley
  • Guard William Campbell
  • Tackle Ben Ijilana
  • Tackle Oday Aboushi
  • Linebacker Garrett McIntyre

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback Jeff Tuel
  • Running back Ronnie Wingo
  • Wide receiver Stevie Johnson
  • Wide receiver Robert Woods
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Bills at Steelers inactives: Robert Woods, Jeff Tuel scratched

By Tim Graham

PITTSBURGH -- The Buffalo Bills won't have rookie receiver Robert Woods today against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Woods is out with an ankle injury that kept him from practicing. He has 26 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

Here are all the inactives:

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback Jeff Tuel
  • Running back Ronnie Wingo
  • Wide receiver Robert Woods
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Ty Powell
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Quarterback Landry Jones
  • Wide receiver Derek Moye
  • Tight end Richard Gordon
  • Defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo
  • Linebacker Kion Wilson
  • Linebacker Chris Carter
  • Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke

Bills scratch C.J. Spiller; Saints give Jimmy Graham green light

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Bad news for the Buffalo Bills.

The New Orleans Saints will have tight end Jimmy Graham in their offense today in the Superdome.

Graham, among the NFL's most dangerous players and a favorite target for quarterback Drew Brees, had missed practice time this week because of a foot injury. Even if Graham is limited today, he will give the Bills' defense something to think about.

The Bills, as expected, have scratched running back C.J. Spiller to help him get over a nagging ankle injury.

Here are all of the inactives:

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback EJ Manuel
  • Quarterback Matt Flynn
  • Running back C.J. Spiller
  • Offensive lineman Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Manny Lawson
  • Linebacker Ty Powell
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers

New Orleans Saints

  • Quarterback Ryan Griffin
  • Running back Mark Ingram
  • Running back Travaris Cadet
  • Tackle Terron Armstead
  • Defensive end Tyrunn Walker
  • Cornerback Rod Sweeting
  • Safety Roman Harper

Jeff Tuel remains top backup for now; Matt Flynn scratched

By Tim Graham

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Buffalo Bills will stick with Jeff Tuel as their backup quarterback for at least one more week, choosing to deactivate recently signed veteran Matt Flynn for this afternoon's game against the Miami Dolphins in Sun Life Stadium.

All of the scratches are:

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback EJ Manuel
  • Quarterback Matt Flynn
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Ty Powell
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers
  • Cornerback Brandon Burton
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Miami Dolphins

  • Quarterback Pat Devlin
  • Running back Michael Gilislee
  • Guard Danny Watkins
  • Guard Dallas Thomas
  • Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe
  • Linebacker Josh Kaddu
  • Cornerback Will Davis

On the line from Vegas: Field goal seems low for Ravens spread

By Tim Graham

Joel Staniszewski doesn't always agree with the point spread. But as a handicapper and former oddsmaker, he usually understands how it came to be.

The St. Joe's grad was forced to muse on the number for Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

"I'm just surprised at the line," Staniszewski said today from Las Vegas. "The defending Super Bowl champs are only a three-point favorite. I thought it would be more.

"The trends that I've looked at basically affirm that the Ravens are the team to bet here."

Continue reading "On the line from Vegas: Field goal seems low for Ravens spread" »

C.J. Spiller, Mario Williams say they're OK; secondary not so much

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone needed half a minute this afternoon to rattle off all his team's injuries.

Did not practice

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand)
  • Wide receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring)
  • Guard Kraig Urbik (knee)
  • Defensive end Mario Williams (ankle)
  • Defensive tackler Kyle Williams (Achilles)
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist)
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring)
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks (foot)
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin)

Limited practice

  • Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (ankle)
  • Safety Jairus Byrd (feet)

Full practice

  • Running back C.J. Spiller (quadriceps)
  • Guard Doug Legursky (knee)

Defensive end Alex Carrington had quadriceps surgery and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Spiller and Mario Williams expressed confidence they'll play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

"The biggest thing, I wasn't hesitant," Spiller said. "That was really going to be my biggest mental hurdle, if I was going to be hesitant on my cut, and I wasn't. I was able to push off it.

"Still some soreness in it, not completely where I want it to be. But I think by Sunday it'll be completely gone."

Kyle Williams had a rest day, and Marrone indicated his defensive line will remain intact.

"We're fine up front," Marrone said.

The secondary is in trouble. Marrone said, "Leodis is in the mix still, and it's day-to-day," but safety Aaron Williams (last year's coverage foil) and Justin Rogers (Sunday's coverage foil) were the first-team cornerbacks in practice today.

"We're going through different combinations, different combinations of schematics, man, zone, matchups," Marrone said. "We'll see what gives us the best opportunity to be successful. That process is going to be day-to-day."

Points after: Jets 27, Bills 20

916379 McCoy Sports Bill#21

By Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to New York Jets at the Meadowlands ...

What it means: The Bills had an opportunity to make a statement about their status in the AFC East with a lackluster performance against a beatable team that committed an absurd number of penalties. The Bills are 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the division.

Play of the game: Geno Smith placed a perfectly thrown pass into Santonio Holmes' hands down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown with 9:23 to play. Bills cornerback Justin Rogers, in over his head the entire game, was in coverage.

Sequence of the game: With an eight-point lead and the Bills starting out on their 20-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the Jets couldn't challenge an EJ Manuel fumble that had been ruled down by contact and committed penalties on four straight plays (one wiped out a Fred Jackson lost fumble) before Manuel connected with tight end Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown. Stevie Johnson caught a two-point conversion pass to tie the score.

Jets player of the game: Smith was 16 of 29 for 331 yards and two long touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for an 8-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Bills player of the game: Dan Carpenter made field goals from 37, 23, 43 and 26 yards without a miss.

Rookie QB showdown: In the first installment of what both teams hope to be a long rivalry, Smith was better. Manuel was 18 of 38 for 231 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. Manuel ran for 40 yards but was sacked seven times, thrice in the third quarter alone.

Stat line of the game: Bills running back C.J. Spiller left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter after 10 carries for 9 yards and one reception for 1 yard.

Run of the game: Seemingly stopped on a third-and-1 play at the end of the first quarter, Jackson spun away from the pile and ran past a few Jets defenders who assumed the play was over. Jackson was tackled 59 yards later.

Penalty report: The Jets had an astounding 20 penalties for 168 yards. The Bills were sharp early, but flags eventually cost them here and there. They were penalized seven times for 87 yards. On the final drive of the first half, the Bills committed two penalties to help the Jets get close enough for a field goal.

Preliminary injury report: In addition to Spiller's knee injury, Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin left the game on the opening drive with a hamstring injury. Aaron Williams moved from safety to corner, and Jim Leonhard handled punt return duties. ... Right guard Kraig Urbik left in the second quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Sam Young. ... Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus limped back to the locker room with a right ankle injury in the third quarter and didn't return. ... Defensive end Alex Carrington was carted off the field with an apparent left leg injury with 70 seconds to play.

Coming up: The Bills return home to play the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. Sunday. It'll be a short week after that, with a Thursday night road game against the Cleveland Browns.

Second-quarter analysis: Offensive woes start in red zone

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills came into today’s game having scored touchdowns on four of their first five trips into the red zone this season.

That success evaporated in the second quarter. The Bills had consecutive drives reach the Jets’ 19- and 5-yard lines, respectively, and couldn’t finish off either drive with a touchdown, settling for Dan Carpenter field goals of 37 and 23 yards.

On the first red-zone possession, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel overthrew rookie wideout Robert Woods on the right side of the end zone on a third-down play.

On the next drive, Manuel couldn’t find an open receiver on third and goal, electing to run, but gaining only a yard.

Continue reading "Second-quarter analysis: Offensive woes start in red zone" »

Snap counts: Nigel Bradham gets all of one play against Carolina

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone made sure to let everyone know after the season opener against the New England Patriots that he was pleased with linebacker Nigel Bradham's performance, despite him playing just 19 snaps.

That number was drastically reduced Sunday, as Bradham was on the field for just one defensive snap.

"I really didn't expect that, but it just happened that way," Bradham said today of his playing time. "As the weeks go on, we'll see what happens. Hopefully I get more reps."

Bradham said he had no idea that he would be used so sparingly against the Panthers.

"I've just got to control what I can control and keep focusing on trying to become a better linebacker," he said.

Other items of note from the Bills' snap count numbers against Carolina:

Continue reading "Snap counts: Nigel Bradham gets all of one play against Carolina" »

CB Johnny Adams called up from practice squad; Jay Ross released

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills added another cornerback to their 53-man roster this afternoon by promoting rookie Johnny Adams from the practice squad.

Adams, 24, is a 5-foot-11, 177-pound rookie out of Michigan State. He originally signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent following this year's draft, and also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts before signing with the Bills' practice squad earlier this month.

Adams started 39 games and played in 54 for the Spartans, making 157 tackles, 35 passes defensed and 11 interceptions. He becomes the fifth healthy cornerback on the Bills' roster, behind Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers, Nickell Robey and Brandon Burton. The Bills also have the injured Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) on the roster.

To make room for Adams, the Bills released defensive tackle Jay Ross. Ross, 25, was a healthy inactive Sunday. He spent most of last season on the practice squad, appearing in one game.

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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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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