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Points after: Buccaneers 27, Bills 6

Bills Buccaneers Footbal#19

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills stink. They had five turnovers, allowed seven sacks, gave up way too many big plays on defense and committed costly penalties.

Rookie QB showdown: Both were ugly, but Mike Glennon was a little less homely. EJ Manuel was 18 of 33 for 184 yards and no TDs with four interceptions, two of which were off his receivers' hands. Glennon, a third-round pick, had two interceptions and only 90 yards but threw a pair of TD passes.

Player of the game: Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was a monster. He had two interceptions, a sack and a team-high eight tackles.

Moment of the game: On the second offensive play, Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey ran up the middle and past linebacker Kiko Alonso for an 80-yard touchdown. That was all the scoring the Buccaneers would need. The game was 18 seconds old.

Preliminary injury report: Bills cornerback Ron Brooks got hurt while covering a punt late in the first quarter. Although he remained on the field for several minutes, he returned in the second quarter.

Coming up: The Bills will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at EverBank Field.

Points after: Falcons 34, Bills 31 OT

81172 McCoy Sports Bills  2

By Tim Graham

TORONTO -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' demoralizing loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Rogers Centre ...

What it means: The Bills, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but allowed the Falcons to tie the game at 17 by halftime. The Bills led 31-24 in the fourth quarter, but let the Falcons tie it again and then fumbled away the victory in the closing seconds. With a Miami Dolphins victory over the New York Jets today, the Bills are in last place and two games out of second place in the AFC East.

Play of the game: Stevie Johnson caught a third-down pass for what would have put the Bills within Dan Carpenter's field-goal range, but he fumbled at the Falcons' 30-yard line with 10 seconds left in regulation time. Without that fumble, tight end Scott Chandler wouldn't have fumbled on the first overtime possession.

Bills player of the game: Toronto's crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, showed up to the game in a Fred Jackson uniform, and Jackson lived up to the endorsement. Jackson scored a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown for only the second time in his career. The first time was in 2010 against the Detroit Lions. Jackson gained 78 yards from scrimmage.

Spiller strikes: C.J. Spiller made a pair of gargantuan runs. On the Bills' second play from scrimmage, he ran 77 yards to set up a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he scampered 36 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Spiller finished with a season-high 149 rushing yards.

Falcons player of the game: Ankle and hamstring injuries have made Roddy White's season a colossal disappointment. His best game had been four receptions for 45 yards. Versus the Bills he caught 10 passes for 143 yards and midway through the third quarter accounted for 101 of Matt Ryan's 179 passing yards.

Turning point of the game: Kiko Alonso got off to a hot start with five takeaways in his first four pro games, but he didn't have another until today. With the Falcons seemingly seizing control of the game in the third quarter, Alonso recovered a botched snap. One play later, Jackson scored on a 21-yard catch-and run to tie the game at 24.

Sack attack: The Bills sacked Ryan six times, thrice on third down to force a punt. Jerry Hughes notched two sacks. Manny Lawson, Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams and Corbin Bryant had one apiece.

Preliminary injury report: Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore needed assistance on the field with about 9:30 left in the third quarter because of a cramp and came out of the game long enough for replacement Ron Brooks to get beat by Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown. Gilmore returned to action. ... Linebacker Arthur Moats left the game in the second half with an undisclosed injury.

Coming up: The Bills will travel three times in their final four games, including two straight in Florida. They will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 15.

First-quarter analysis: Robey plays bigger than his size

By Jay Skurski

Cornerback Nickell Robey has been a heck of a find for the Buffalo Bills this season.

An undrafted rookie free agent out of Southern California, Robey made the biggest play of his young professional career today in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at SunLife Stadium.

Robey perfectly read Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and stepped in front of receiver Brandon Gibson for his first career interception, which he took 19 yards for a touchdown.

Robey is undersized at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds but plays bigger than his size. He’s been fearless as the nickel cornerback, and stepped right into the lineup in Week One. Robey’s play has helped the Bills overcome the loss of Ron Brooks, who was expected to serve as the third corner coming out of training camp.

Continue reading "First-quarter analysis: Robey plays bigger than his size" »

C.J. Spiller returns to practice on a limited basis

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller quoted Ice Cube today in describing his return to practice.

"Today was a good day," he said.

Spiller's sprained left ankle has limited him the past two weeks. He's played only 30 combined snaps against Cleveland and Cincinnati, both losses for the Bills.

"I'm not really frustrated at all. Injuries happen, stuff like that happens. You just have to deal with it. It's not going to do me any good to sit around and complain," he said. "That's not going to change the situation. You just try get as healthy as you can as quickly as you can. You wish that it wouldn't happen, but when you're playing a sport like this, you know things like this are going to happen."

Continue reading "C.J. Spiller returns to practice on a limited basis" »

C.J. Spiller, Leodis McKelvin, Doug Legursky get green light

By Tim Graham

CLEVELAND -- Running back C.J. Spiller's injured ankle won't keep him out of tonight's game against the Cleveland Browns.

The Buffalo Bills have announced their inactive list for tonight, and Spiller isn't on it. Neither is cornerback Leodis McKelvin nor guard Doug Legursky.

But two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd is.

Here is the complete list:

Buffalo Bills

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
  • Tight end Chris Gragg
  • Offensive lineman Sam Young
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
  • Safety Jairus Byrd
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins

Cleveland Browns

  • Quarterback Jason Campbell
  • Running back Fozzy Whittaker
  • Offensive lineman Patrick Lewis
  • Offensive lineman Martin Wallace
  • Defensive lineman Billy Winn
  • Linebacker Jabaal Sheard
  • Linebacker Quentin Groves

Theoretical injury report: Spiller sidelined, Jackson limited

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills didn't practice today, but the NFL mandates Monday injury reports for teams playing Thursday night and asks those teams to guesstimate what would've happened.

So here's a theoretical injury report of who would've been held out or limited had practice taken place today:

Would not have practiced

  • Running back C.J. Spiller (ankle)
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks (foot)
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist)

Would've been limited in practice

  • Running back Fred Jackson (knee)
  • Wide receiver Steve Johnson (hamstring)
  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand)
  • Guard Kraig Urbik (knee)
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring)
  • Cornerback Aaron Williams (back)
  • Safety Jairus Byrd (foot)
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin)

Leodis McKelvin, Jairus Byrd unavailable; Ray Rice active

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin has been ruled out, and safety Jairus Byrd will not make his season debut.

A pregame workout of McKelvin's hamstring wasn't encouraging enough for the Bills to dress him for today's game against the Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Byrd, the two-time Pro Bowler, will miss his fourth straight game with plantar fasciitis.

For the Ravens, running back Ray Rice is active and will start. He was sidelined last week with a hip injury.

Here are all of the inactives:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Wide receiver Jacoby Jones
  • Wide receiver Brandon Stokley
  • Guard Jah Reid
  • Center Ryan Jensen
  • Defensive tackle Terrence Cody
  • Inside linebacker Arthur Brown
  • Safety Jeromy Miles

Buffalo Bills

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
  • Guard Doug Legursky
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin
  • Safety Jairus Byrd
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins

Important Bills defenders do more at practice today

By Tim Graham

As expected, some Buffalo Bills participated more today after not practicing Wednesday.

Most notable were defensive linemen Mario Williams and Kyle Williams and cornerback Leodis McKelvin.

Kyle Williams confirmed he sat out Wednesday's session to rest his surgically repaired Achilles. He said it's important to get whenever he can, especially with the quick turnaround for next Thursday's road game against the Cleveland Browns.

Bills coach Doug Marrone reiterated that McKelvin's availability for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens likely won't be determined until just before the game.

Did not practice

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand)
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist)
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks (foot)
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin)

Limited practice

  • Wide receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring)
  • Guard Kraig Urbik (knee)
  • Defensive end Mario Williams (ankle)
  • Defensive tackler Kyle Williams (Achilles)
  • Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (ankle)
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring)
  • Safety Jairus Byrd (feet)

Full practice

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

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."

Bills bring back DT Jay Ross; make practice squad change

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills today filled the roster spot created Monday when defensive end Alex Carrington was placed on injured reserve by re-signing defensive lineman Jay Ross.

Ross, 25, is a 6-foot-3, 319-pounder who was released two weeks ago after making the 53-man roster out of training camp. The East Carolina product played in one game for the Bills last season, spending most of the year on the team's practice squad. Ross was released after being inactive for the season opener against the New England Patriots due to a numbers crunch at cornerback. The team lost Ron Brooks in Week One, and promoted Johnny Adams from the practice squad to take his place.

Carrington had surgery for a torn quad Monday, an injury that ended his season.

The Bills also made a change to their practice squad, releasing defensive end Izaan Cross and signing defensive end Adewale Ojomo.

Ojomo, 24, is a 6-foot-4, 270-pounder who played in college at Miami. He joined the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2012, appearing in one game. He was most recently on the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad.

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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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