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Eligibility for the IR-designated to return list

By Jay Skurski

From the in-case-you-were-wondering dept.:

None of the five players the Buffalo Bills have on injured reserve -- quarterback Kevin Kolb, wide receivers Kevin Elliott and Brad Smith, fullback Drew Smith and tight end Mike Caussin -- are eligible for NFL's injured reserve-designated to return list. Their seasons are over.

That's because those five players were put on injured reserve before the team had established its 53-man roster. 

To be eligible for the IR-designated to return label, a player must first be on the 53-man roster. Any time after 4 p.m. Tuesday, a player then can be placed on the list.

In the Bills' case, they have one injured player who may qualify. That is guard Doug Legursky, who suffered a knee injury Thursday in the final preseason game against the Detroit Lions. If the Bills did put Legursky on the list, it would keep him out for the first eight weeks of the season.

The team has already said cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is out with a broken wrist, will not be put on the list, because they believe he will be ready to play in fewer than eight weeks.

What to look for at today's Bills practice

By Jay Skurski

A steady barrage of news has filtered out of One Bills Drive in the last week.

To recap, in the past seven days alone, the Bills have:

    • Lost veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb to a concussion that ultimately landed him on the injured reserve list.
    • Lost No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore for 6-8 weeks because of a broken wrist.
    • Signed and then eventually released former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart. They also traded with the Detroit Lions for another quarterback, Thad Lewis, only to release him, too. 
    • Announced they are planning to start undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel against the New England Patriots, which would make NFL history, if first-round draft pick EJ Manuel isn't ready because of knee surgery.
    • Welcomed back Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, who doesn't sound thrilled to be back. Then watched as Byrd had a second opinion on a foot injury.
    • Signed one of their team leaders in center Eric Wood to a contract extension.
    • Made a round of cuts Friday, then another one Saturday that left them three players under the maximum roster limit of 53.

So when the Bills get back to work today to prepare for the season opener against New England next Sunday, here's what to look for.

Continue reading "What to look for at today's Bills practice" »

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.


  • 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)

Seasons are over for Kevin Kolb, Brad Smith

Kevin Kolb and Brad Smith
The Bills placed quarterback Kevin Kolb and receiver Brad Smith on injured reserve.

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have placed three players on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Although several cuts were reported, the only official moves for now are quarterback Kevin Kolb, fullback Drew Smith and receiver Brad Smith heading to IR.

Left guard Doug Legursky suffered a nasty left knee injury in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, but the Bills haven't declared their intentions for him yet.

Rosters must be trimmed to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday.

Kolb was diagnosed with a concussion from last weekend's exhibition at Washington. He has had at least three in his career, and the Bills couldn't afford to hold a roster spot open for such a serious and unpredictable injury.

Brad Smith injured his ribs Thursday night. Drew Smith has a thumb injury that will require surgery.

For Bills' bubble receivers, preseason finale an unfair catch

By Tim Graham

A few Buffalo Bills wide receivers went into Thursday night's preseason finale fighting for their livelihoods. They needed opportunities, as many plays as possible, quality passes to catch.

With less than eight minutes left in a 35-13 loss to the Detroit Lions in Ralph Wilson Stadium, Bills wide receivers had three catches for 12 yards.

Roster aspirants Brad Smith, Chris Hogan, Marcus Easley and Brandon Kaufman haven't had it easy. They spent the summer catching passes from two rookies and a veteran journeyman who has missed much of camp with injuries and a family funeral.

Then, with their jobs on the line Thursday night and 53-man roster cuts due at 6 p.m. Saturday, the Bills used a pair of quarterbacks who weren't on the team four days earlier.

Continue reading "For Bills' bubble receivers, preseason finale an unfair catch" »

Video: Bills' QB mini-crisis discussed on 'PFT Live'

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills are generating considerable news lately. Mike Florio invited me onto "PFT Live" to talk about the latest doings at One Bills Drive.

Among the topics were, of course, the Bills quarterback situation with undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel possibly an historic opening-day starter, first-round pick EJ Manuel's knee and Kevin Kolb's concussion.

Doug Marrone coping with 'Welcome to the NFL' moment

By Tim Graham

All rookies eventually experience their "Welcome to the NFL" moment.

Whether it's absorbing a bone-crushing hit, making a youthful error or getting punked by a veteran, it happens to the best of them.

Coaches, too.

First-year head coach Doug Marrone likely is encountering his "Welcome to the NFL" moment right now. After a relatively smooth offseason and a 2-0 preseason start, the Bills have hit nasty turbulence.

"It's funny," a bemused Marrone said Monday. "My first thought process when I was younger was, when these things happened, I would say to myself, 'What did I do in my past to deserve this? ... I go to church on Sunday. I'm a good father, a good husband. Why did this happen?' "

Continue reading "Doug Marrone coping with 'Welcome to the NFL' moment" »

Doug Marrone wouldn't change way he structured QB competition

By Jay Skurski

With the recent injuries to Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel, there has been talk the Bills erred in releasing veteran Tarvaris Jackson earlier this season.

Coach Doug Marrone, however, has no regrets on how he structured the quarterback competition heading into his first training camp.

"Obviously that wasn’t in the plan of what happens," Marrone said of the injuries to Manuel and Kolb. "We went in with a plan to draft a quarterback, and this goes way back, this was the initial stages of where we were going to go with our numbers, that we were going to draft a quarterback and that we knew that we wanted to go to camp with three with the thought process being more playing time, better reps, more quality reps during that to try to get somebody ready to be the starting quarterback."

Continue reading "Doug Marrone wouldn't change way he structured QB competition" »

Opening-day start would be historic for Bills QB Jeff Tuel

By Tim Graham

During a break at the final night practice of training camp last Tuesday, Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and Jeff Tuel chatted on the sidelines.

From behind them walked Jim Kelly to say hello. Tuel's eyes lit up.

"Hi, I'm Jeff," Tuel said with an extended hand.

Less than a week later, Tuel has gone from introducing himself to the Bills' iconic quarterback to the verge of starting for them on opening day.

Continue reading "Opening-day start would be historic for Bills QB Jeff Tuel" »

Poll: Biggest story on Mammoth Monday at One Bills Drive?

By Tim Graham

Today will be packed with news from One Bills Drive.

The Bills made two additions at quarterback Sunday and might have lost their veteran insurance policy. We should get updates on quarterback EJ Manuel's knee, cornerback Stephon Gilmore's wrist, Da'Norris Searcy's head and whether running back C.J. Spiller is with the team.

Today also will be the first time reporters will have an opportunity to speak with safety Jairus Byrd since he signed his franchise tender and returned to the Bills last week.

Rosters must be reduced to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon, but many teams have announced those moves. Perhaps the Bills will today.

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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 |