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Jairus Byrd inactive again for Bills

By Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd will not make his season debut today.

The Bills have scratched Byrd for this afternoon's game against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.

Here are all of the inactives:

Buffalo Bills

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
  • Tight end Chris Gragg
  • Guard Doug Legursky
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
  • Safety Jairus Byrd
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins

New York Jets

  • Quarterback Brady Quinn
  • Wide receiver Ryan Spadola
  • Guard Will Campbell
  • Tackle Ben Ijalana
  • Tackle Oday Aboushi
  • Linebacker Ricky Sapp
  • Linebacker Scott Solomon

Jairus Byrd, Doug Legursky still limited participants in practice

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills' injury report remains unchanged this afternoon heading into Sunday's game at the New York Jets.

Safety Jairus Byrd (feet) and guard Doug Legursky (knee) participated in a limited basis on the team's grass field outside next to the fieldhouse, while kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin), cornerback Ron Brooks (foot), cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand) were held out.

For the Jets, receiver Santonio Holmes did not practice Thursday because of a foot injury. Holmes participated in a limited basis on Wednesday. Running back Bilal Powell was a full participant in practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday, while offensive lineman Oday Aboushi was a new addition to the report Thursday because of a knee injury.

Jairus Byrd among Panthers-Bills inactives

By Tim Graham

Here are the inactives for this afternoon's game between the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium:

Carolina Panthers

  • Running back Kenjon Barner
  • Tight end Brandon Williams
  • Center Brian Folkerts
  • Defensive end Wes Horton
  • Defensive tackle Sione Fua
  • Cornerback Melvin White
  • Cornerback James Dockery

Buffalo Bills

  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
  • Tight end Chris Gragg
  • Guard Doug Legursky
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks
  • Safety Jairus Byrd
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins

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.

Doug Marrone: Bills were in position for Danny Amendola

By Tim Graham

Danny Amendola disemboweled the Buffalo Bills' pass defense Sunday.

Amendola, the New England Patriots' replacement for Wes Welker, was the MVP of a 23-21 victory in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Amendola had 10 receptions for 104 yards, but those stats tell only a smidgeon of the story. He was hobbled by a groin injury. Seven of his catches converted third downs into first downs.

He probably made some more catches in Doug Marrone's dreams Sunday night -- if the Bills' coach slept after such an emotional debut.

After reviewing the game film, Marrone couldn't find much fault with his defense.

"I wasn't discouraged about where we were on a lot of positioning where those balls were completed," Marrone said.

On the winning drive, Amendola caught all four passes Tom Brady threw to him for 26 yards and three first downs.

The critical grab came on a third-and-8 play from Buffalo's 39-yard line with just over a minute left. Amendola gained 10 yards. That play essentially sealed Buffalo's fate.

Marrone praised Amendola, who made several great catches from a Hall of Fame quarterback, rather than fault Buffalo's defense.

"Give them credit," Marrone said. "They had some good man-beaters when we were in man. There's a lot of times when we were right there. Sometimes when you play this game, and I've always been like this as a coach, you tip your hat off to them.

"Tom Brady and Amendola have that type of ability, and they did it."

Nobody could cover Amendola.

Analytics site ProFootballFocus.com noted Amendola made at least one catch against seven different Bills defensive backs. He made two apiece on Justin Rogers, Aaron Williams and Nickell Robey and one apiece on Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, Da'Norris Searcy and Jim Leonhard.

McKelvin was the only Bills defender to record a pass breakup while covering Amendola. PFF credited Amendola with 32 yards after the catch.

Here's a look at the third-down passes from Brady to Amendola:

  • Third and 7: Complete for 24 yards (first down)
  • Third and 10: Incomplete
  • Third and 4: Complete for 6 yards (first down)
  • Third and 3: Complete for 6 yards (first down)
  • Third and 6: Complete for 19 yards (first down)
  • Third and 10: Complete for 13 yards (first down)
  • Third and 3: Complete for 6 yards (first down)
  • Third and 8: Complete for 8 yards (first down)

Marquise Goodwin, Ron Brooks out indefinitely

Goodwin
Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin fumbled after his first reception. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone delivered some discouraging injury news this afternoon.

Rookie wide receiver Marquise Goodwin suffered a fracture in his right hand during Sunday's 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots, according to the coach, and was undergoing surgery this afternoon.

Second-year cornerback Ron Brooks, meanwhile, suffered a fracture in his foot -- the same injury he suffered last season as a rookie. Marrone said he will undergo surgery Tuesday.

Both players are out indefinitely, although the coach expects them to return at some point this season. Marrone said he will await more information from team doctors following each player's surgery before determining if either would be a candidate for the team's injured reserve-designated to return roster status.

"It's the same situation as Marquise Goodwin," Marrone said of Brooks. "He's going to be out for some time."

Cornerback depth could become an even bigger concern

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills cornerback Ron Brooks did not speak with the media this morning, but he did make a brief stop in the locker room -- on crutches.

Brooks left Sunday's 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots with a foot injury, coach Doug Marrone said after the game. The second-year man from LSU -- who missed the first half of his rookie season because of a broken foot -- played just 10 defensive snaps, although that had as much to do with his spot on the depth chart as it did the injury.

Rookie undrafted free agent Nickell Robey played ahead of Brooks in the team's nickel package as the third cornerback behind starters Leodis McKelvin and Justin Rogers. Brooks, however, came in on certain dime packages.

Continue reading "Cornerback depth could become an even bigger concern" »

Spotlight on: CB Ron Brooks

By Jay Skurski

Defending the slot receiver position has been a riddle the Buffalo Bills have not been able to solve in recent seasons against the New England Patriots.

When Wes Welker signed with Denver in the offseason, it looked like the job might get easier for the Bills. Just a few hours later, though, the Patriots brought in a player in Danny Amendola who -- when he's at his best -- is a younger version of Welker. Both players have remarkably similar strengths: namely their route-running ability and short-area elusiveness.

The 27-year-old Amendola has missed 20 games the past two seasons as a member of the St. Louis Rams, but he's healthy now and will be in the slot Sunday when the Patriots visit Ralph Wilson Stadium. That puts second-year cornerback Ron Brooks in the spotlight. (Note: Starting today and continuing each Saturday during the 2013 season, the Press Coverage blog will highlight one player who has an interesting matchup in Sunday's game).

Continue reading "Spotlight on: CB Ron Brooks" »

Doug Marrone says replacing Stephon Gilmore a four-player job

By Jay Skurski

When Justin Rogers sat out last week's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, it was assumed he'd be starting opposite Leodis McKelvin at cornerback in Sunday's season opener against New England in place of the injured Stephon Gilmore.

While that still may be the case, Bills coach Doug Marrone has pumped the brakes on calling Rogers, McKelvin or anyone else on the roster a starter.

"We have four corners that we're rotating through right now depending on what packages and what personnel groups are out there," Marrone said, referring to McKelvin, Rogers, Nickell Robey and Ron Brooks. "We'll make that decision as the week goes on who takes the first snap."

McKelvin and Rogers did line up with the first team Monday at practice. The Bills also claimed Brandon Burton off waivers from Minnesota. Marrone said the team likes Burton's size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) and ability to play press coverage.

But with less than a week to learn a new defensive scheme, it would seem the Bills will be leaning on McKelvin, Rogers, Brooks and Robey to defend Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense. New England has averaged 40 points per game in their last six against Buffalo, going 5-1 in that time.

"I feel we're going to get great production out of those guys we put out there. Right now we're planning on putting people out there rotating through and getting the same amount of production," Marrone said. "Obviously it’s difficult; Stephon Gilmore is a very good player for us. We have to try to get that same productivity out of a couple of players now rather than what we were getting out of one."

Brandon Burton coming to Bills, as per Brandon Burton

Burton
The Bills have reportedly added former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Brandon Burton to their 53-man roster. (Associated Press)

 

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills have reportedly filled one of the three holes on their 53-man roster with cornerback Brandon Burton.

While there has been no official announcement from the team, that report comes directly from the player himself, on his verified Twitter page.

Burton, 24, is a former fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2011. He played in 14 games over the past two seasons with the team, including one start, before being released Saturday. Burton, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, played collegiately at Utah.

The Bills now have five healthy cornerbacks on the roster: Burton, Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers, Ron Brooks and Nickell Robey. No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore is also on the active roster as he recovers from a broken wrist.

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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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