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Bills enter last quarter of the season quite healthy

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills will be healthy for Sunday's road game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bills coach Doug Marrone announced only receiver Marquise Goodwin (calf) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Achilles) are on the final injury report, and each is probable.

Tight end Scott Chandler was back at practice after his wife gave birth to another girl Thursday night. Chandler will make the trip to Tampa.

Marrone revealed Thursday that newly signed tight end Tony Moeaki likely will not play Sunday.

Marquise Goodwin, Scott Chandler added to Bills' injury report

By Jay Skurski

Rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin suffered a minor calf injury that forced him to leave today's practice early, Bills coach Doug Marrone said earlier today.

Marrone, though, expects Goodwin to be available to play Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Tight end Scott Chandler missed today's practice, but it was not injury related. Marrone said Chandler's wife, Alissa, is expecting a baby.

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams returned to practice on a full basis after getting his usual rest day Wednesday.

On the Buccaneers' side, receiver Vincent Jackson was limited for a second straight day because of a hamstring injury.

"You never know," Schiano told Tampa reporters about Jackson's availability. "When you have a leg injury and you're a receiver, your legs are your life and you've got to be able to run. We'll see when we give it a go, which I don't know when that will be -- if it will be tomorrow, or Saturday or Sunday. Vince is a pro. He'll know if he can do it or not, so it will be up to him."

Bucs receiver Chris Owusu was added to the Bucs' injury report as a limited participant today because of a hamstring injury.

Kiko Alonso first at ILB, fourth among all D-men in Pro Bowl votes

By Tim Graham

Need more proof fans are smitten with Kiko Alonso?

The Buffalo Bills' rookie leads all inside linebackers in Pro Bowl voting. He has almost twice as many votes as Luke Kuechly and more than twice the votes of Patrick Willis.

The weekly Pro Bowl update shows Alonso has 265,232 votes, more than 72,000 votes ahead of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in second place.

In fact, Alonso ranks fourth among all defensive players. The only defenders with more votes are Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman at 367,076, Houston Texans end J.J. Watt at 278,737 and Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas at 277,482.

Fan ballots make up one-third of the Pro Bowl selection process. Players and coaches comprise the rest.

Other Bills among the top 10 candidates in fan voting are Mario Williams (second to Watt among defensive ends), Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams (third and fourth at defensive tackle behind Dontari Poe and Jason Hatcher), Aaron Williams (sixth at strong safety), Dan Carpenter (10th at kicker) and Marcus Easley (10th among special-teamers).

Kyle Williams-Marcell Dareus pairing impresses Gerald McCoy

By Jay Skurski

There will be an embarrassment of defensive tackle riches on the field Sunday in Raymond James Stadium when the Buffalo Bills visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bills' defensive tackle duo of Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus is the best in the NFL, according to Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy, a good judge of talent considering he made the Pro Bowl last season at the position.

"That tandem I think is the best D-tackle tandem in the NFL," McCoy said this afternoon on a conference call with the Buffalo media. "When you get those guys going, it's hard to slow them down. Not to mention you've got Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes coming off the edge, but those two guys in the middle, that's what makes the engine run."

Williams and Dareus have combined for 108 tackles and 13 sacks this season -- most in the NFL for a defensive tackle pairing.

"Kyle, he's a vet, and he's been doing it for a lot of years," McCoy said. "Marcell, he's been dominant since college. There's a reason he was the third overall pick. I think this year is really a breakout year for him. He's starting to really show what he can be when he wants to be. When he goes, it's hard to find anybody better. So those two together, they're definitely dominant."

McCoy likewise was a third overall pick, the year before Dareus in 2010. He's already set career highs with 33 tackles and six sacks through 12 games.

"That's going to be hard for me to answer. I don't really like talking about myself, but I'll try and come up with something," McCoy said when asked what has gone right for him personally this year. "At the beginning of this season, I was asked 'how do you build off a Pro Bowl year?' I told the media I didn't want to remain stagnant. I just wanted to get better and move forward, to build off of last year. I think I've been able to do that."

Kyle Williams active for Bills

By Tim Graham

TORONTO -- Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams will dress for this afternoon's game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Rogers Centre.

Williams' status was suddenly in question when he wrenched his back getting out of bed Friday morning.

The inactives:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Running back Josh Vaughan
  • Guard Harland Gunn
  • Tackle Terren Jones
  • Tackle Sean Locklear
  • Defensive tackle Travian Robertson
  • Linebacker Omar Gaither
  • Safety Kemal Ishmael

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback Jeff Tuel
  • Running back Ronnie Wingo
  • Tight end Chris Gragg
  • Guard J.J. Unga
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Ty Powell
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Kyle Williams questionable for Falcons with lower back spasms

By Mark Gaughan

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams sat out practice today due to a sore lower back and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto.

Williams encountered spasms in his lower back as soon as he got out of bed today. He said he plans to get aggressive therapy over the next two days and was hopeful of being able to face Atlanta.

"It popped up, low back," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "Those things are tough. I've been through those things before. I had a player when I was in New York, during a walk-through, just went down to get in his stance and his back locked up. You never know with those things, so I really don't know."

Other than Williams, the Bills are in good health for the game.

If WIlliams can't play, it would mean bigger roles for defensive tackles Corbin Bryant and Stefan Charles. Atlanta ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing.

The Falcons' top back, Steven Jackson, missed the better part of six games with a hamstring problem. His season rushing high was 77 yards in the season opener. He rushed for 63 yards on 16 carries against New Orleans last week.

Game ball: Bills 37, Jets 14

Points after: Bills 37, Jets 14

6556026  McCoy Sports Bills

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' decisive victory over the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills snapped a three-game losing streak and avenged an ugly Week Three loss to the Jets. The Bills still are in the AFC East basement at 4-7, but they have to feel good about how they played. Bills rookie EJ Manuel returns to "future franchise quarterback" material (for the time being, anyway) with a strong bounce-back performance.

Players of the game: Bills safety Jairus Byrd and defensive tackle Kyle Williams were studs. Byrd had a sack and two interceptions. He dropped Geno Smith on a third-and-3 play in the second quarter to forcing a punt and grabbed an interception for the second straight week to set up a field goal right before halftime. He picked off another in the third quarter. Williams had two sacks in the first half and forced a fumble to set up a touchdown.

Manuel transmission: Geno Smith won the rookie QB showdown in the first game, but Manuel was far superior today. Manuel was 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. Smith completed eight of his 23 yards for 103 yards and no TDs with three interceptions and a lost fumble. Matt Simms replaced Smith with 12:55 left in the game.

Play of the game: After the Jets scored their first touchdown to make it 20-7 in the third quarter, Manuel responded with a 43-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin and put the Jets back in their place.

Milestone TD: Bills fullback Frank Summers, playing in his 13th NFL game since he got drafted in 2009, scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. It was the first TD of his career.

Preliminary injury report: Fred Jackson writhed on the ground 2:27 into the second half with an apparent left knee injury. He returned to the game on the next series. ... Defensive tackle Kyle Williams went to the locker room with 7:18 left in the third quarter but came back quickly after getting retaped.

Coming up: The Bills are on their bye week. They will return to action Dec. 1 against the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto.

Second-quarter analysis: Bills put 'Shout' song on replay

By Jay Skurski

Just about everything that could go right did for the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter today against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Hit two field goals of 40 or more yards in a brutal wind? Check.

Complete a long touchdown pass from EJ Manuel to T.J. Graham? Check.

Force a turnover, then punch it in for another TD? Check times three.

As a result, the Bills hold a 20-0 halftime lead. The Bills scored on every possession in the second quarter, starting with a 40-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. After forcing a three and out by New York, the Bills put together one of their best drives of the season, a 13-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Manuel to Graham.

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams then recorded his second sack of the game, forcing a fumble in the process that was recovered by linebacker Manny Lawson. The Bills scored two plays later on a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Frank Summers.

Sneak!: Fans and media members alike (especially WGR's Jeremy White) have often wondered why the Bills don't sneak the ball more when needing a yard for a first down. Buffalo did it twice in the second quarter, each time with success. The first one came on a third-and-1 play from the Buffalo 44, when Manuel rushed for 3 yards. The second sneak by Manuel came on a fourth-and-1 play from the Jets' 33-yard line on the same drive. The play was set up after Jets defensive end Leger Louzable jumped offside on a fourth-and-6 play on which the Bills had Brian Moorman out to punt.

Byrd watching: Safety Jairus Byrd was all over the field for the Bills in the second quarter. Byrd sacked Smith for a 9-yard loss early in the quarter, then later intercepted the Jets' rookie quarterback. That set up a 42-yard field goal by Carpenter that pushed the Bills' lead to 20-0.

Career high: Williams' two sacks today gives him seven on the season, a new career high. 

Stevie Johnson's chances of playing Sunday not looking good

By Jay Skurski

Stevie Johnson missed his second straight practice Thursday, putting his availability for Sunday's game against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium in serious doubt.

"I don't feel as good about him being able to play, but I can't officially rule him out yet," coach Doug Marrone said after practice.

Johnson injured his right groin in a Week 10 loss at Pittsburgh.

Marrone said the team will not call up a receiver from the practice squad, meaning the options for EJ Manuel at the position will be T.J. Graham, Marquise Goodwin, Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley. Rookie Robert Woods has been ruled out because of an ankle injury.

Safety Da'Norris Searcy returned to practice on a limited basis today after sitting out Wednesday because of a hamstring injury.

"I have no issues there. Unless he has a setback during the week, he should be in great shape," Marrone said.

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Achilles) was also back as a full participant at practice today after taking his usual rest day Wednesday.

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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 | 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

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