Inside The Bills

Tragedy of McKnight’s passing hits Bills hard

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2016 – 9:58 am

Former NY Jets RB Joe McKnight was the victim of road rage Thursday when he was gunned down sitting in his car at a stop light in Terrytown, Louisiana after a verbal argument with another man.

An eyewitness told NOLA.com that she was leaving a nearby store when she witnessed the confrontation. The woman said a man was yelling at the athlete, who looked like he was apologizing, when he pulled out a gun and shot McKnight multiple times. She said the shooter then stood over the fallen footballer and said, “I told you don’t f–k with me” and fired one more time.

The shooter remained at the scene and was apprehended by police.

McKnight, a former USC running back, was drafted by the Jets in 2010 and coached by Rex Ryan for three seasons in New York. Ryan issued a statement in reaction to the 28-year old’s tragic death.

“Hearing this news about Joe McKnight is just so heartbreaking. He was such a great guy who meant a lot to a lot of people. When he first came to us at the Jets, he was this raw, talented kid. He had some issues as do a lot of guys. Obviously, we know the background, him going through (Hurricane) Katrina and a lot of different things. But he was always determined to get better–better as a football player and better as a man–and I thought he did that. That was exciting for me to see.

“One year when we had Joe we led the NFL in kickoff returns and I thought he was going to go to the Pro Bowl that year and he probably should have. But I was more proud of how he was off the field. When he went to Kansas City he seemed to have changed his life and that was a great thing. I remember when we played the Chiefs he came over and saw me and Anthony Lynn and it was great to see him.

“Joe will be remembered for a lot of good things and I was proud to have known him and proud to have coached him.

“My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Joe’s family and friends and we’ll keep them in our prayers at this difficult time.”

Bills RB Reggie Bush, a fellow USC running back, took to social media to express his feelings about the passing of his friend and address the troubling results that can come from road rage, as this is the second NFL player to be killed in a road rage incident. Saints DL Will Smith was also shot and killed in Louisiana in a road rage incident this past spring.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin added to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2016 – 4:59 pm

The rash of injuries at receiver continues for the Bills. Marquise Goodwin was added to Thursday’s injury report with a wrist injury suffered in practice. He was listed as a limited participant.

The injury occurred right at the end of practice, so head coach Rex Ryan did not have much of an update.

“We’ll see what happens, but it just happened out here in a two minute drill,” said Ryan.

Ryan said he’s not optimistic about having Robert Woods or Percy Harvin in the lineup on Sunday. He’s more encouraged about Sammy Watkins being in the lineup Sunday.

But Walt Powell went on injured reserve and Dez Lewis was called up from the practice squad. All the roster shuffling at the position makes it hard to establish rhythm in Buffalo’s passing game.

“It’s tough,” said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. “It’s tougher on the quarterback than anybody. You know, he doesn’t create that trust, and…factor. But you just have to make adjustments and move on.”

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Robert Woods – knee
WR Percy Harvin – migraines
CB Ronald Darby – concussion

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Lorenzo Alexander – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – back
S James Ihedigbo – ankle
G Richie Incognito – neck
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
RB Mike Gillislee – hamstring
LB Preston Brown – wrist
S Sergio Brown – hamstring
WR Marquise Goodwin – wrist


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills add safety to practice squad 

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2016 – 11:49 am

The Bills added a safety to their practice squad today. 

Buffalo signed Shamiel Gary, a former undrafted rookie signing of New England in 2014. He has played in six Games in his NFL career. Gary goes 6-0 and is 217 pounds. 

There was an open spot on the practice squad because CB Joe Powell was put on practice squad I-R. 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins does not participate Wed.

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2016 – 3:47 pm

He was scheduled to participate on a limited basis in Wednesday’s practice, just as he did all of last week, but after telling athletic trainers of soreness in his foot, they pulled him from the practice field and Sammy Watkins did not practice at all Wednesday.

Head coach Rex Ryan has said multiple times they’re going to take a cautious approach with Watkins, and that proved to be the case on Wednesday. As for his status on Sunday, his participation or lack thereof in practice Thursday should shed more light on Watkins’ chances of being available.

Watkins was seen in Buffalo’s locker room and he appeared to be walking just fine. His foot wasn’t wrapped or anything.

Buffalo’s offense is already down Robert Woods (knee) and Percy Harvin (migraines). Neither of them practiced Wednesday. They called up WR Dez Lewis from the practice squad Tuesday after losing WR Walt Powell to an ankle injury. He was placed on injured reserve.

Here’s Buffalo’s injury report for Wednesday

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
WR Robert Woods – knee
WR Percy Harvin – migraines
LB Lorenzo Alexander – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – back
CB Ronald Darby – concussion
S James Ihedigbo – ankle

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
G Richie Incognito – neck
RB Mike Gillislee – hamstring
LB Preston Brown – wrist
S Sergio Brown – hamstring
G John Miller – shoulder
DT Marcell Dareus – abdominal

FULL PRACTICE
QB Tyrod Taylor – groin


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Game-worn jerseys available on Salute to Service auction

Posted by Kelly Baker on November 29, 2016 – 2:38 pm

salute-to-service-auction

Bills fans, there’s still time for you to bid on Salute to Service game-worn and autographed merchandise at the Salute to Service auction held on Bills Experience!

Recently added items include, but are not limited to, an autographed Sammy Watkins custom cleat and game-worn jerseys from the Bills vs. Jaguars contest. The jerseys available are CB Stephon Gilmore, G Richie Incognito and DT Kyle Williams.

incognito-game-worn

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Bills Foundation and will be designated to military and veteran organizations.

Bids can only be made on Bills Experience, which is available on Bills Mobile/My One Buffalo App. The auction will close on Wednesday, Nov. 30. At 8 p.m. ET.

To bid now, click here.

ABOUT THE BUFFALO BILLS FOUNDATION

The Buffalo Bills Foundation supports organizations that are committed to improving the quality of life in our region. This will be achieved through philanthropic investment in our community along with supporting NFL and team charitable initiatives.


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Vote for Shady

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2016 – 10:34 am

LeSean McCoy is once again up for the NFL’s FedEx Ground Player of the Week award coming off his 103-yard rushing day, which included a pair of touchdown runs in the win over Jacksonville. Here’s who McCoy is up against in the fan voting this week.

  • Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown in a 28-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown in a 49-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
  • LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns in a 28-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Every week, following the Monday Night Football game, through Thursday at 3 pm, fans can visit NFL.com/FedEx to vote or tweet using #AirandGround and the nominees’ last name to cast their vote. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and then FedEx will award a $2,000 donation in the winning players’ names to The USO.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marv Levy gets street named after him

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2016 – 9:07 am

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was recently honored in his native Chicago with an honorary street designation on the Windy City’s north side.

Marv Levy Way was dedicated last week with Levy and his wife Fran on hand for the dedication ceremony. In typical Levy fashion, the former Bills head coach has a bit of humor for those in attendance for the unveiling.

“I just want everybody to know that effective January 1st this will become a toll road,” Levy quipped.

Here’s the report on Levy’s honorary street designation.

marvlevyway


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins amount of playing time Sunday TBD

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2016 – 6:07 pm

Sammy Watkins came through Sunday’s game just fine. In fact he felt so good he was pining for more time on the field. He got 25 of Buffalo’s 55 snaps on offense. But Buffalo is taking a very cautious approach with Watkins after a two month layoff. So as much as they’d like to play Watkins more this Sunday in Oakland, they’re taking the same approach they did last week as far as practice is concerned.

“I don’t want to place any number on it. Will he get more or less? We’ll just be smart with him,” said head coach Rex Ryan of Watkins. “We’ll be smart through the week as well. We’re not going to overdo it on the practice field. We need him healthy, and recognizing that he had a lot of time off and hasn’t done a whole lot of football activity. So we’ve got to balance that. We all want to get him on the field for the entire game, but I don’t know if that’s the best thing for him and for our football team.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Gillislee looks good for this week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2016 – 6:03 pm

A hamstring injury suffered in practice last week cost Mike Gillislee an appearance in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville. But head coach Rex Ryan is optimistic that Gillislee will be fit to return to the lineup this weekend.

“I think everything looks good,” said Ryan of Gillislee. “So hopefully he’s on track to return this week.”

Gillislee is the team’s third leading rusher behind LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins gets almost half the reps on offense

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2016 – 10:19 am

The Bills put Sammy Watkins on a pitch count during the practice week, but in Sunday’s game they were prepared to go as long as possible with Watkins on the field, provided his foot problems didn’t resurface. The good news on Sunday was they didn’t.

“I built a lot of confidence just going out there, having as many plays as I played,” said Watkins. “I probably played more than I was supposed to play, and I feel good about it. Just being out there on the field, I didn’t really care about catching the ball. I just wanted to feel good. Go out there, block a couple of plays, just get the feel of the game because at first I was kind of like, ‘This is my first game back, going against these good cornerbacks.’ After a while, I just kind of calmed down and let the game come to me.”

The receiver logged 25 of the team’s 55 offensive snaps for 45 percent of the total.

Watkins made an impact as covered on Buffalobills.com with almost half the team’s receiving yardage. He also drew a key pass interference penalty to set up the game-winning touchdown drive.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hunter happy being TD maker

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2016 – 8:50 am

He’s been on the roster for two months now and Justin Hunter has made just seven receptions. Seven catches might not seem like much until you realize that four of them have gone for touchdowns.

Fifty-seven percent of Hunter’s catches have resulted in touchdowns making the tall, angular receiver as the team leader in receiving touchdowns this season.

Tyrod Taylor’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Hunter proved to be the game-winning points, but Hunter had to climb the ladder to make the catch.

“I guess he knows the background,” said Hunter of his fellow Virginia native. “I’ve got a 40-inch vertical and it came in handy. He trusted me on that play.”

One of the main reasons Hunter has not made much happen between the 20s is because he’s mainly on the field when the team reaches the red zone. As long as he keeps scoring that role is fine with Hunter.

“I’m  not going to complain about it,” he said. “They keep coming like that, I’ll take them however they come. As long as we get in the red zone, it’s my zone.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2016 – 9:44 pm

Here’s a look at some of the stats that stood out in the Bills win over Jacksonville.

100% – Bills red zone efficiency
6 – Bills penalty count that went for just 31 yards
0.6 – LeSean McCoy’s yards per carry average in the first half
8.9 – LeSean McCoy’s yards per carry average in the second half
5 – Number of lead changes in the second half
21, 22, 22 – Net yards for Bills three longest drives of first half
75, 75, 76 – Net yards for Bills three longest drives in second half


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills don’t care about style points

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2016 – 9:26 pm

One could make a very easy argument that each of Buffalo’s last two wins were anything but pretty, but if you ask the Bills themselves they could care less.

The coaching staff and the players are just interested in stacking wins however they can, good, bad, pretty, ugly. They don’t care. They’ve adopted the late Al Davis’ philosophy, ‘Just win baby.’

“Happy to get a win,” said Richie Incognito. “Right now at this part of the season a win is a win. It could be ugly, it could be by 30 points, but you need to collect as many wins as possible and keep the approach with this thing one week at a time, one game at a time, one win at a time.”

“Every game is kind of survive and advance,” said Kyle Williams. “You’re just trying to scratch and claw and win a football game. The NFL is so tough. There are great players everywhere. (Jacksonville) is a talented football team. We did a lot of self-inflicted damage, but at the end of it, when it came down to it offensively and defensively, we made a few plays and they were enough to win the game.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

RB Yeldon active for Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2016 – 11:56 am

Jaguars RB TJ Yeldon was questionable with an ankle injury but will play today. Here are the inactives for Jacksonville. 

QB Brandon Allen

LB Dan Skuta

DT Abry Jones

OL Jeremiah Poutasi

DE Chris Smith

OLB Jared Odrick

TE Julius Thomas


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Seymour to get more work at nickel corner

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2016 – 9:28 am

Last week Kevon Seymour saw more work at nickel corner than he had previously, but it was still just 15 snaps against Cincinnati. Nickell Robey-Coleman actually got more work by game’s end with 23 snaps. Today it looks like both will see work in the slot again, and Seymour could get more of the work.

“Seymour and Robey-Coleman are both going to play,” said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. “What we have to do is utilize our personnel the way we feel is going to give us the best opportunity to get guys covered back there. We decided to mix it up to have as many up and ready to go as we can and let them go out and play.”

Buffalo’s defensive staff has been more conscious of using better height and length matchups against bigger and taller receivers in the slot. Knowing the primary slot receiver for the Jaguars is Allen Hurns, who goes 6-3 and 201 pounds, Seymour could see more of the work in the slot this week.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New edition New Era caps

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2016 – 2:06 pm

New Era is giving fans the opportunity to compete in three ultimate tailgating games! Starting at 9:30AM Sunday in the Activation Lot, competitors will be given the chance to win some awesome prizes.

In the first tailgating game, Oversized Pong, six large garbage cans will be set up in a triangle formation. If challengers sink all three shots, they’ll win a hat voucher to the New Era Field Store. If two shots are made, New Era swag will be won. Sink one shot or none at all? That’s okay! Every lucky participant will receive a koozie!

In the second game, Bean Bag Toss, fans will have three opportunities to sink a bean bag and win! In New Era’s third and final tailgating game, Flip Cap, competitors will flip three caps to land them right-side up. Prizes awarded to winners are the same for all three games.

New Era is also launching the fifth cap in our exclusive New Era Field series – this one is custom created by Aaron Williams. The cap will be available for sale at New Era Field this Sunday.

nfl16_9fifty_williamsexclusive_bufbil_red_3qrnfl16_9fifty_williamsexclusive_bufbil_red_r

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jags TE Thomas out; RB Yeldon questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 3:00 pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be down a couple of offensive weapons on Sunday against the Bills.

TE Julius Thomas is out with a back injury. He didn’t practice all week. Also unable to practice all week was RB T.J. Yeldon. He’s listed as questionable, but is seen as a long shot to play. That means Chris Ivory will likely get the start at running back. Meanwhile at tight end, first-year player Ben Koyack will start with Thomas out and Marcedes Lewis on injured reserve.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Arrelious Benn WR Concussion FULL QUESTIONABLE
Aaron Colvin CB Concussion FULL QUESTIONABLE
Abry Jones DT Ankle DNP QUESTIONABLE
T.J. Yeldon DE Ankle DNP QUESTIONABLE
Jared Odrick OLB Shoulder DNP OUT
Dan Skuta DE Back DNP OUT
Chris Smith TE Eye DNP OUT
Julius Thomas TE Back DNP OUT

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Harvin trying to get back for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 1:47 pm

It’s not an injury, but illness has made WR Percy Harvin a question mark for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.

Harvin practiced Wednesday, but missed both Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions. Head coach Rex Ryan addressed Harvin’s availability for Sunday.

“He’s trying so hard to get back. I’m hopeful he’ll be able to get back,” said Ryan. “He wasn’t able to practice the last couple of days. He comes in and he’s trying to come in, but we pretty much treat him and send him back home.”


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Gillislee out, Watkins availability looks promising

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 1:25 pm

Bills RB Mike Gillislee sustained a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s practice and left the session early. He didn’t practice again and is now out for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville. The good news is it appears that Sammy Watkins will be able to play on Sunday.

“I think he’s good to go,” said head coach Rex Ryan of Watkins in relation to Sunday’s game. “He won’t have a full workload, but we’re definitely going to get him in there.”

All the Bills need to do now is move Watkins from injured reserve onto the active roster. They have until 4 pm on Saturday to do so.

RB LeSean McCoy also looks good to go for Sunday, feeling no ill effects from the minor procedure on his thumb to get his dislocation from last week’s game corrected. Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush will be McCoy’s backups.

OUT
WR Robert Woods – knee
S Robert Blanton – foot
RB Mike Gillislee – hamstring

DOUBTFUL
DT Corbin Bryant – shoulder

QUESTIONABLE
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
LB Lorenzo Alexander – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Seantrel Henderson – personal matter
OT Cordy Glenn – back
RB LeSean McCoy – thumb
WR Percy Harvin – illness


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-25

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 12:37 pm

It’s time for the Bills to stack wins to remain a part of the AFC playoff conversation. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who’s Gillislee’s backup?

Fat Norton@TheConqueror21

CB: That would be rookie Jonathan Williams. Some might think it would be Reggie Bush, but Bush is more of a specialty player who is used only occasionally in the backfield, can be split out wide or return kicks. Williams has just 17 carries for 61 yards, which has largely come in times when the game has already been decided.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills is Watkins a game changer this week?

Chris Huber@chrishuber14

CB: I think the Bills would love it if he could be a game changer. The bottom line though is he hasn’t played in two months and will need a few series to get back into the flow of game speed. I anticipate that the offensive staff will use him as much as they can knowing they’ll be down Robert Woods.

I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s a game changing talent, but coming off the layoff it’s hard to know whether he can be that right away this Sunday.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills what have our secondary players been focusing on in practice?

Leah Fallesen@LeahCF

CB: They focus on a lot of things. During individual position drills a lot of their work involves their footwork and tracking the ball. Tackling was a focus this week with emphasis on getting their head across the body of the ball carrier. Beyond that the focus is the game plan and executing the game calls for this week.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills will McCoy’s thumb affect him at all this next game?

Jared Bailey@JaredBailey23

CB: We hope to get that answer from McCoy himself after practice today. He has a good sized wrap on the thumb following the minor surgical procedure to re-attach the dislocated digit. The strength of his grip is probably the biggest concern because back have to apply three points of pressure on the ball to secure it under their arm and the thumb is one of those three. If he doesn’t have any strength to do that it could compromise his ball security.

Catching could be another potential issue. Hopefully we can get some answers from Shady before the game on Sunday.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills How is the team going to approach Watkins’ 5th year option and possible new contract? Great player but also some injuries.

COLIN SCHULTZ@Schultzy0620

CB: I would expect the Bills to pick up Watkins fifth-year option because of the injuries. I know that sounds strange, but a fifth-year option gives Buffalo time to wait and see if Watkins can put together a season where he can stay relatively healthy all season long.

Since the fifth-year option has to be picked up in May next year for his fifth season which would be in 2018, I’d be inclined to think Buffalo wants to take as much time evaluating his ability to stay on the field. It buys them time.

There’s no debating his talent level, but availability is critical. So I would think before the Bills even think about signing Watkins to a big time deal, they’ll see what he can do in 2017 and maybe even 2018 before they take that step.


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Posted in Inside the Bills