Inside The Bills

A special day from start to finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 7:26 pm

With so much positive news packed into one week for Bills fans, the 73-thousand plus at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday were just hoping the team would cap the week with a win. Doug Marrone’s men obliged taking a day when the man who founded the franchise was honored, and two of the team’s most famous alumni presented the late Hall of Fame owner’s wife, Mary Wilson, with an honorary Wall of Fame ring. That combined with the Pegula agreement to purchase the franchise and keep it in Western New York brought the week to a fitting conclusion.

“Sunday was a very emotional time,” said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. “Not only the tribute to Ralph and to honor Mary Wilson who has been a rock for all of us, and to see Jim (Kelly) and Thurman (Thomas) and all the guys out there. To be out there when Jim (Kelly) got up to the podium was pretty cool. I’ve seen this stadium rock a lot of times, but I’ve never felt it like that, it was awesome.”

When asked what Mr. Wilson might’ve thought of the performance Sunday, Brandon believed his former boss would’ve loved it.

“That’s Ralph’s kind of football,” Brandon said. “He would’ve loved it. He absolutely would’ve loved it. It’s been a tremendous week; it’s a great, great time to be a Buffalonian. Great credit to so many people, governor Cuomo and his staff, and our group and were working together. Football is the ultimate team game. The teamwork that went into making this all culminate to the sale this week, then to cap it off (with a win). It’s going to be a big party in this town (Sunday night) for sure.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The fans meant a lot

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 7:19 pm

It was unanimous in Buffalo’s locker room following their 29-10 win over Miami, Bills fans played a role in the victory.

“Do our players feel that (energy from the fans)? Absolutely,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “To sit here and say our fans weren’t a big part of it (is ridiculous). Those third downs and I know there was a another penalty that the fans caused. It was outstanding. That’s why I think that this is one of the toughest places to play.”

“It’s definitely a way to get us amped up,” said Mario Williams of the crowd noise. “Whenever you’ve got the home crowd behind you and their yelling and screaming and getting pretty hyped out there it definitely relays to the field.”

“It was beyond what I expected, the fans were so amazing and I felt the energy the whole day while we were out there, they never let up,” said Corey Graham, a Buffalo native who had 10 tackles and three pass breakups. “It was unbelievable, I never in a million years dreamed that it would be that special.”

“It means a lot just to have our fans out here and engaged,” said Sammy Watkins. “They helped us with the win. It was amazing and the team, we just have to keep giving the fans and the community something to believe in. I think if we keep winning, they’ll keep believing in us.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ on offensive progress

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 7:11 pm

There’s no doubt that the Bills offense wasn’t thrilled with their 0-for-3 mark in the red zone in the first half, but getting points is the thing, and to come through with a touchdown drive come the second half was something EJ Manuel felt they could hang their hat on.

“We want to score every drive,” he said. “I think it’s even more important when they go out there and score, especially later in the game because we hadn’t touched the end zone until that point after C.J. [Spiller] had the great kick return. It’s a good thing for our offense to show that we’ve having growth, and we’re becoming a more mature offense.  Again, our defense put us in the situation to be able to do that.”

Head coach Doug Marrone didn’t deny they left points on the field, but wasn’t going to criticize the offense, which got points on six of their 11 possessions (not counting kneel down at end).

“I’m not going to say disappointed,” he said. “I look at it as we won the game, but there were opportunities there that we have to just get better at and take advantage of, but there were definitely opportunities there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dolphins inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 11:51 am

Here are the inactives for the Dolphins in the Week 2 game with the Bills.

DE Terence Fede
C Mike Pouncey
LB Jordan Tripp
LB Koa Misi
G Billy Turner
DT Bruce Gaston
OT Jason Fox

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 11:47 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills in today’s home opener with the Dolphins.

LB Keith Rivers
TE Lee Smith
S Jonathan Meeks
G Cyril Richardson
OT Cyrus Kouandjio
RB Bryce Brown
CB Ross Cockrell


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why 1st down could determine game today

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 10:24 am

Very often we hear keys to the game like third down or preventing big plays. For the Bills and Dolphins today it’s going to come down to the first play of every series. Here’s why.

Buffalo and Miami are two teams that like to lean heavily on their running game. Both have multiple backs that they can deploy in their offense to gain yards. The Bills have three (Dixon, Jackson, Spiller) that they appear prepared to use through the course of the season regularly. Miami has Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno.

Last week against New England the Dolphins converted 54% of their third downs (7-13) and the big reason why was due to their success on first down on offense. Miami had 31 first down plays in their win over the Patriots. They ran the ball 18 times and averaged 5.39 a carry (18 for 97 yds). That very often set up 2nd-and-medium and kept their full playbook open. It also led to a lot of shorter third downs. Of the Dolphins 13 third down plays nine of them were 3rd-and-4 or less.

Similarly the Bills had comparable success running on 1st-and-10 against the Bears. Of their 20 first down plays they ran the ball 15 times and did even better than Miami. Buffalo averaged a whopping 6.53 yards per rush on first down gaining 98 yards on just 15 carries.

The difference this week is both offenses are going against run defenses that are considered superior to the ones they each faced in Week 1. But with both teams having developing quarterbacks running their offense Miami and Buffalo will continue to emphasize running on first down. Whichever defense has more success holding them to minimal gains could shift the balance of the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bradham’s improved play to be seen today

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 9:20 am

On more than one occasion Bills head coach Doug Marrone has praised the improved play of Nigel Bradham, who has recommitted himself to the game and performed admirably all preseason. In his weekly Coffee with the Coach interview presented by Tim Horton’s, Marrone gave an idea as to the areas of Bradham’s game where fans will see the most improvement.

“One, he has the ability because of his speed to be a three-down linebacker, which is important because he can be on the field the whole time,” said Marrone. “He’s always been a good tackler for us and that helps us against good rushing clubs. But he’s been very consistent and he’s played extremely well and has really stepped up his game. So you’re going to see someone who can play three downs, cover backs, that can make tackles and a take on linemen. He’s really become a complete linebacker.”

Bradham is expected to be on the field for nickel packages as one of the two linebackers.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Sammy Watkins’ BOSE playlist

Posted by buffalobills.com on September 13, 2014 – 1:42 pm

This year BOSE, the Official Sound of the Bills, is going to bring insider access to fans by showing fans what songs Bills players listen to on game day.  For 12 weeks during the 2014 season, a different Bills player will be featured in the Player Playlist, presented by BOSE.  This week, it’s Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins.  Check out the songs Sammy will be listening to on Sunday before he takes the field against the Dolphins.

sammyboseplaylist_pr06 (1)


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Posted in Corporate, Off the Field

Tim Hortons surprises fans in camper lot

Posted by buffalobills.com on September 13, 2014 – 1:13 pm

On the eve of the home opener fans in the very full camper lot were surprised by a special treat from Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop.  The fans were given Tim Hortons coffee and Timbits as they prepared for Sunday’s game.

timhortons-camper

Special thanks to the Tim Hortons on the corner of Abbott and Southwestern for providing the coffee and Timbits!


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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bills were throwing on 3rd down in Wk 1

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2014 – 10:59 am

The Bills are already onto their Week 2 matchup with Miami at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday, but there was one interesting anomaly that came out of last week’s win over Chicago.

Buffalo’s offense had 12 third down plays in the overtime game, and they threw the ball every time. First and foremost it’s just one game and a relatively small sample size. So drawing any conclusions based on the third down plays from one game is foolhardy.

Nevertheless for a team that has a strong penchant for running the football to see them throw every time on third down was interesting.

Part of the reason for the passing only plays on third down in Week 1 could likely be attributed to the fact that all but three of their third down plays were less than 3rd-and-5. Once offenses get past 3rd-and-3 the league’s numbers shift heavily toward the pass and Buffalo was an example of that last week.

On their three 3rd-and-2 plays in that game they threw every time. To their credit they converted two of them for first downs. Chicago was also clogging up the box with defenders in the game daring Buffalo to throw. The Bears defense got what they wanted in the game with Buffalo only converting 33 percent on third down, but the Bills got out of there with a victory.

Not surprisingly, Buffalo’s four conversions came on the four shortest down and distance situations on third down. They converted the pair of 3rd-and-2s, a 3rd-and-5 and a 3rd-and-6. It further emphasizes why the offensive staff commits so much to the run because if they can get to 3rd-and-4 or less they stand a much better chance of moving the sticks, even if they choose to throw it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami MLB doubtful

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2014 – 2:26 pm

The injuries at linebacker for the Dolphins claimed one of their starters for the season in Dannell Ellerbe. Friday’s injury report indicates they’re likely to be without another.

Starting MLB Koa Misi is doubtful after being unable to practice all week with an ankle injury. Rookie LB Jordan Tripp is also out with a chest injury.

That means there’s a good chance former Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard, who was signed earlier this week by Miami could see a lot of snaps Sunday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rivers out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2014 – 1:59 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

Here is the rundown of the status of injured Bills players for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Lee Smith TE Toe LP DOUBTFUL
Keith Rivers LB Groin DNP OUT
Jonathan Meeks S Neck LP DOUBTFUL
Aaron Williams S Concussion FP PROBABLE
Stephon Gilmore CB Groin FP PROBABLE
Sammy Watkins WR Ribs FP PROBABLE
Chris Hogan WR Ankle FP PROBABLE

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-12

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2014 – 12:29 pm

Perhaps the most anticipated home opener in a long time and it’s Miami on top of it. It’s been a heck of a week for Bills fans with all the positive news. Let’s get to the latest edition of your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question to you:

Could you see the Bills putting Cordy Glenn at LG because it seems like they are deeper at tackle than they are at guard? I know they have experimented with him there a few times but it just seems like they don’t have an answer at LG at all even with the Williams signing. I would go from left to right: Henderson, Glenn, Wood, Urbik (or Richardson or Williams) and Pears. With an injury to a T you could then slide Glenn back to LT and put Henderson at RT. I think this gives you the best 5 up front.

Thanks!
Dave
twitter: DTaylor716

CB: I think the way things looked in Week 1 the front five that coach Marrone has put together looks pretty good and should only get more and more comfortable together as the weeks wear on. I think the key thing to remember here is to have your two most athletic linemen on the edges now that most NFL clubs have speed rushers on both sides, which the Bills will see this week with Miami’s Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

I did an in depth piece on this regarding how important the right tackle has become in the league now knowing NFL defenses are putting speed on both sides.

Buffalo’s two most athletic linemen by far are Cordy Glenn and Seantrel Henderson. So putting them at the two tackle positions is the best way to go as I see it.

 

2 – Hi Chris,

My question regards the slot position- both how we plan to defend it and attack other defenses with it.

I’ve read recently about the “big nickel” package- subbing out the nickel corner for a third safety to better match up against the monsters that are being put into the slot now-( see Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski).

Do you see Nickell Robey’s stature as a liability against these bigger slot receivers and is there a plan in place to get a better matchup if we need to? Would this involve Corey Graham coming on potentially or having Searcy Williams and Williams all out as safeties at once? As much as I love Robey- he’s incredible- I just forsee a long day for him trying to cover Gronk in the slot.

Conversely- do you think there is a plan in place to attack smaller nickel corners with our offense? I notice that neither Hogan nor Woods are exactly giants- I wonder if we will see Mike Williams or one of our bigger guys slide inside to slot to take advantage of some potential mismatches.

Thanks for everything you do for the Bills and us fans!

Tim
Ovid, NY

CB: I think what you saw last week was in Buffalo’s nickel at times they’ll make use of Duke Williams as a hybrid linebacker. Similar to the way Bryan Scott and Da’Norris Searcy have been used in years past, Williams has the physical game to help in the run game, if there’s a draw play or something on third down, but also possesses the cover skills and physicality to handle coverage assignments.

Aaron Williams has the size and physical style to match up with a bigger player in the slot too as does Nigel Bradham, who is back this week. So I think Robey can still serve in his role and should a size mismatch present itself Buffalo has enough options to deploy against a larger slot receiver/tight end.

 

3 – Hi Chris!!

First of all, thank you for your great work keeping us Bills fans always well informed. Quick question. Are the Bills planning to wear their white alternate jersey this season? If so, which game?

Thanks Chris & take care!
Luis Estrada
(Puerto Rico)

CB: The only other jersey being worn is the white throwback jersey this Sunday for the home opener along with the standing red Buffalo helmets.

 

4 – Chris,

Love the coverage year round. Helps for a non-local Bills fan. Can you explain the reasoning behind Pears playing RG? He only practiced a few times there and has zero game experience at guard. In the preseason game, he look lost there. Why don’t they keep him at tackle. You had Robert Woods as your camp MVP, so why has he slid down the pecking order at WR? I see him more as outside threat instead of slot. I would like to see him on the field every play.

Thanks
Josh P.
CB: Pears did have some limited experience at guard from his days with the Raiders, though it was only a few games about five years ago. Still I think aside from his first snaps there against Tampa’s Gerald McCoy in the preseason he’s fared well. Pears is also great snap by snap counsel for rookie Seantrel Henderson. Henderson has told me having Pears there is invaluable for him.

Head coach Doug Marrone knows offensive line play, so if he believes this is his best five then I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see how it plays out.

As for Robert Woods, he was my camp MVP because he brought it every day and outperformed the other receivers on a more consistent basis. Yes, Sammy Watkins turned in the highlight reel plays, but Woods is a guy who is going to get you first downs more consistently. In the NFL it’s about keeping the offense on the field with first downs. That’s where Woods helps you most.

And don’t worry Woods will be moved around a lot this season because he’s the most versatile receiver on the roster in my opinion.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

First day of practice every week is Wednesday. So what does the team/players do Monday Tuesday? Chill or group watch film or ??

RealBryanWatson

CB: Usually on Mondays injured players come in early for treatments. At 9 in the morning there’s a designated weight lifting group. At 10 am there’s a stretch and run conditioning period. Then there’s a second weight lifting group later in the morning. That’s followed by a team meeting at noon. Then they have a special teams meeting followed by offense, defense meetings. That’s where they review game film from Sunday and make corrections.

On Tuesday most players get a jump on the upcoming opponent by studying film while the coaches spend the day putting together the game plan for Sunday. Generally though Tuesday is the players’ day off.  


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller joins “Scoring for Good” campaign

Posted by Dallas Miller on September 12, 2014 – 10:35 am

spiller-kesem

Camp Kesem, a nationwide community that helps children through and beyond a parent’s cancer is pleased to announce that Bills RB C.J. Spiller will join the 2014 season of Scoring For Good.

Spiller, a national fan favorite and Clemson University alumni, has pledged to donate $500 to Camp Kesem for every touchdown he scores this season. Quarterback EJ Manuel, who announced a renewed partnership earlier this year, will donate a special meet & greet grand prize for the highest score winner of Camp Kesem’s Scoring For Good mobile app, available for download in iTunes and Google Play.

Spiller’s partnership with Camp Kesem and the Scoring For Good initiative is inspired by his late grandmother, Nettie Pearl Allen, who played an important role in his upbringing. Spiller lost his grandmother to a two-week battle with lung cancer when he was a freshman in high school. “My grandmother’s death hit me hard and made a significant impact on my life and my career.  I know how difficult it is to lose someone to cancer and I want to help give kids, who have to go through it at a young age, the support they need. Camp Kesem provides an incredible service and I am honored to help them expand their impact this season and beyond,” said Spiller.

Endorsed by the NFL Players Association as part of the One Team, One Community initiative, Scoring For Good is a program of Camp Kesem where professional athletes show their support of children impacted by a parent’s cancer by visiting camps, generating awareness, and dedicating their on-field performance to providing the organization’s services to an even larger population of children.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami’s 5 new OL changes little for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2014 – 10:16 am

The Miami Dolphins had five new offensive linemen in their Week 1 win from the men they had lining up for them last season at this time. The group performed admirably despite not having their one holdover from last season in C Mike Pouncey, who is out again this week with a hip injury. Bills DT Kyle Williams was impressed with what he saw on tape from the Dolphins’ front five last Sunday.

“I think if you look at their whole offensive line, their offensive line is brand new, all five of them and they work well together,” he said. “Veteran group, they play hard. They have a rookie at right tackle but everybody else has been around a while. They know what they’re doing. They get on their blocks and stay on their blocks so we got a good challenge in front of us.”

Buffalobills.com asked Williams if the new players on the Dolphins’ offensive front increases his preparation since they’re not the typical players they see when they face Miami each season.

“No, I’m not going to prepare any more or any less than I would if I had played these guys, all these guys were the same,” said Williams. “I’m going go about my business the way I always do. Nitpick and try to figure the ins and outs, whats good and not good no matter whos playing or how long they have been playing.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Passing game looking to take next step

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2014 – 9:05 am

Buffalo’s receivers made some key plays in the win over the Bears in Week 1, but EJ Manuel’s targets in the passing game want to take another step as they open up division play on Sunday.

Sammy Watkins, who turned in a few receptions last week, believes it’s all about the matchups.

“Just being dominant,” he said. “Winning our matchups, 1-on-1’s, Win the balls that come to us. And I think overall, the balls that came to us we caught them. Everybody is making big plays but when we get more involved and need to pass, we going to be there. EJ will get us the ball.”

QB EJ Manuel believes the improvements need to be all encompassing.

“Just being better in all situations, third down, red zone, that’s pretty much it,” said EJ Manuel. “I would say our game  plan is a little different versus Miami, just sticking to the plan as far as what Coach Hackett wants us to do.”

Buffalo was 2-4 in the red zone last week, but converted just four of their 12 third down opportunities.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

“We want fans as loud as they can” – JMS 9/11

Posted by johnmurphyshow on September 11, 2014 – 8:25 pm

jms-middle-1280x720--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

 

The countdown continues as we’re now just days away from the Bills home opener, Sunday against the Dolphins. We had a shortened version of The John Murphy Show tonight. We received an updated injury report and heard from head coach Doug Marrone and quarterback EJ Manuel.

Jason Trusnik

In the first half-hour we caught up with Dolphins linebacker Jason Trusnik who called-in to discuss the upcoming game at the Ralph. Trusnik is part of a depleted Miami linebacking corp. He talked about the challenge of going up against the Bills offense including the “1-2 punch” of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Trusnik, a graduate of Division III Ohio Northern, also discussed climbing the ranks from a small school program, which he related to Bills RB Fred Jackson.

 

“The more we move forward with the recruiting process, D-III will get a better look. There have been some guys like London Fletcher and Fred Jackson who have made a big impact. To continue to follow along these footsteps and make an impact to show that D-III guys can make it and that there’s opportunities for them to make it in the NFL. It’s always something we’re pushing for.”

Corey Graham

Bills cornerback Corey Graham joined us in-studio after Trusnik to talk about his homecoming of sorts. He’s a Buffalo native and talked about his excitement of playing in front of his family and friends at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Graham also weighed-in on the recent ownership news and mentioned how excited he is for the team and especially for the fans that do not have to worry about not having a team to root for on Sunday’s.

 

“It’s a special moment for the Buffalo Bills and the rest of Western New York. We have an opportunity now, hoping the franchise is going to be here no matter what, they’ll always have an opportunity to enjoy football.”

 

With that recent news and the anticipation of the home opener, Graham talked about how loud and crazy the fans will be come Sunday saying “we want them to be as loud as they can.” We finished the segment discussion the game itself. Graham focused on Miami’s two receivers, Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.

 

To hear more from Graham and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2014 – 8:15 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves Friday.

Fan 590, Greg Brady and Andrew Walker
o 7:20 am – CJ Spiller

KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
o 7:20 am – Boobie Dixon

WCMF, Break room
o 7:20 am – Preston Brown

103.3 The Edge, Shredd and Ragan
o 7:30 am – Kyle Williams

WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
o 8:00 am – Doug Marrone


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami DE Vernon knows Seantrel well

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2014 – 5:08 pm

Miami DE Olivier Vernon had 11.5 sacks last year. He won’t square off against his former college teammate Seantrel Henderson Sunday, they’ll be on opposite sides of the formation, but Vernon still believes he’s one of the most athletically gifted big men he’s ever come across.

“I still think he was good,” said Vernon of Henderson. “To this day, that’s the biggest, most athletic guy I’ve seen at his size. Even when I was at UM (University of Miami), I didn’t do anything. I feel like he’s going to be a good player for that organization. We’ll see what happens.”

Henderson said he won’t be overwhelmed playing against guys he watched on TV while he was in college at Miami.

“It’s not too weird. I know a couple of guys. Olivier Vernon I played with him, so he’s going to be out there,” said Henderson. “I know a lot of guys from the Miami Dolphins. I used to seeing them when I’m down in Miami, but as far as playing against them it’s going to be just like another game.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dolphins LBs still sidelined

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2014 – 4:59 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

Miami’s linebacking corps is still banged up as a bunch of them were either limited in practice or unable to practice again on Thursday. Here’s the full rundown of the Dolphins’ injuries.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Terrence Fede DE Knee OUT
Mike Pouncey C Hip OUT
Jordan Tripp LB Chest OUT
Chris McCain LB Illness LP
Koa Misi LB Ankle DNP
Randy Starks DT Toe LP
Billy Turner G Foot DNP
Walt Aikens S Hand LP
Charles Clay TE Knee LP
Knowshon Moreno RB Shoulder LP
Derrick Shelby DE Knee LP
Dion Sims TE Neck LP
Mike Wallace WR Hamstring LP
Philip Wheeler LB Thumb LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills