Inside The Bills

Sleeper WR

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2012 – 9:08 am

South Dakota St. WR Dale Moss only has one year of college tape on the football field for scouts, but he’s definitely shown he’s got the physical talent after his pro day workout Thursday.

Moss clocked a 4.45 in the 40, had a vertical leap of 41.5 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 10 inches and a time of 6.32 in the three cone drill that would’ve been the best among WRs at the NFL Combine last month.

At 6’3″ and 213 pounds, Moss logged 61 receptions for 949 yards and six touchdowns in his only season of college football after playing on South Dakota State’s basketball team.

The Bills already have a South Dakota State product on their roster in Danny Batten, who was a sixth-round pick in 2010. Moss is forecast as a late round selection as well.


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Kelsay out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2011 – 4:00 pm

Chris Kelsay missed a second day of practice after his calf injury resurfaced late last week and was ruled out of Sunday’s game by head coach Chan Gailey.

“He’s going to be out,” said Gailey.

That means Danny Batten is likely to get the start again in his absence. Batten started for Kelsay last week against the Jets with Spencer Johnson on the other side at the Jack LB position.

Kelsay, who is known as a fast healer had hoped to recover in time to be ready for Sunday’s game, but now is just going to do what he can to be ready for the Dolphins the following week.

“I’m hoping for as soon as possible,” said Kelsay. “You can’t really put a time frame on an injury and different guys heal differently. I’ve always been a fast healer so I’m just going to work my tail off, get the treatment and rehab and be out there as soon as I can.”


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Merriman void a group effort

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2011 – 3:25 pm

With Shawne Merriman on injured reserve, head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that filling the void left by the veteran linebacker will be a group effort.

“We’ll play a rotation of several guys in there,” said Gailey. “We get (Chris) Kelsay back, which is great. We’ve got Spencer (Johnson), Danny Batten, Arthur Moats and Antonio Coleman is back. It gives us some flexibility about who can go in there. We’ve just got to keep guys fresh and let them keep going at the quarterback.”

Batten started for Merriman in the Week 6 game at New York. Spencer Johnson started in place of Kelsay in that game, but Kelsay is back in the lineup this week. Coleman is not expected to be part of the rotation this Sunday as he get re-acquainted with the defensive scheme and some of the changes that have been made since he was released.


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Moats likely OLB full time

Posted by Chris Brown on October 25, 2011 – 3:00 pm

With Shawne Merriman going on injured reserve Tuesday, it’s a good bet that Arthur Moats will be remaining at outside linebacker the rest of the season.

Losing Merriman for the season leaves the Bills dangerously thin at outside linebacker with Danny Batten, Chris Kelsay and Moats as the only true outside linebackers. Spencer Johnson has also played out there in certain packages. It’s unclear right now if the Bills will use the vacant roster spot to acquire another outside linebacker.


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Faith in Moats and Batten

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2011 – 10:18 am

With Chris Kelsay out for Sunday’s game and Shawne Merriman doubtful, Buffalo is going to be relying on a pair of second-year linebackers in Danny Batten and Arthur Moats. Head coach Chan Gailey admits the pair will get much more time than they typically would, but there aren’t too many other options.

“They’ve been thrust in there a little earlier than maybe a lot of us hoped they would have to be in there,” said Gailey. “We were hoping to bring them along slowly. I know they’ll compete and they’re intelligent and will play as hard as they can play. And the good thing about them is they’ll play with speed. They play as hard as you can play every snap they’re on the field. They embody what our football team is about I believe so I trust they can get the job done.”

Batten and Moats’ speed will be helpful with respect to pass rush. Hopefully it only helps to stretch outside run plays by the Giants wider allowing run support to arrive from the secondary and prevent Ahmad Bradshaw from gaining the corner.


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Moats staying outside

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2011 – 9:12 am

Arthur Moats has been a linebacker in motion from the time he arrived at One Bills Drive last year as he’s transitioned from inside linebacker to outside linebacker and back and back again. For now though he will stay at outside backer.

Head coach Chan Gailey confirmed as much due primarily to the injured Chris Kelsay.

“We’ve got to put him out there right now,” said Gailey of Moats. “We’ve got to leave him out there especially while Chris (Kelsay) is out. We’ve got to leave him out there.”

Gailey was encouraged by Moats’ performance Sunday against the Eagles, which included a quarterback hit leading to an errant throw and interception.

“He did a nice job,” said Gailey. “He wasn’t perfect. He hadn’t practiced there a lot so I think as he gets more work there maybe he’ll continue to give us a little juice off the edge.”

With Kelsay not expected to return to the lineup this week Moats should again be part of the rotation of players that included Spencer Johnson and Danny Batten at Kelsay’s OLB position.


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Batten hoping for no fine

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2011 – 10:52 am

Bill LB Danny Batten, who was flagged for roughing th epasser is hoping to avoid a fine by the league.

Here was his comment postgame about his hit.

DannyBatten57 Let’s hope the NFL has mercy and dosent fine me for QB hit tonight… I’m not a dirty player.

Batten hit the Broncos QB before he delivered the ball, but finished his hit by taking him to the ground. The officials apparently had an issue with him following through on his hit feeling he drove the QB into the ground.

How a player going full speed is supposed to pull up on that seems tough to me.


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Big night for Batten

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2011 – 1:40 pm

With Shawne Merriman on the shelf for tonight’s preseason game against Denver, it’s a huge opportunity to solidify his spot on the roster with another strong performance against the Broncos.

Batten posted a pair of sacks in his debut last week after missing his entire rookie season. Now he’ll get time with the starting defense at weak side linebacker with Merriman sitting the game out. Antonio Coleman will also see some snaps in Merriman’s spot.

Earlier this week head coach Chan Gailey praised Batten for his efforts in camp thus far.

“He plays 100 miles per hour every snap,” said Gailey. “Every snap. His technique is getting better. His understanding of the game is getting better standing up and playing linebacker. He’s been a very pleasant surprise thus far.”


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Maybin just a tough fit

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2011 – 12:32 pm

Aaron Maybin in a 3-4 scheme just wasn’t going to be a fit, and so his release by the Bills Monday is something that unfortunately doesn’t come as a surprise.

When asked about Maybin by reporters, Chan Gailey said the LB worked hard, gave good effort, but he made it clear that Maybin struggled to hold his ground at the point of attack, could not produce consistently and had a long way to go. That shouldn’t be the description for a third-year player.

Maybin also wasn’t helped by the fact that his competition excelled, most notably Shawne Merriman and second-year LB Danny Batten as both logged a pair of sacks in the preseason opener.


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Moats, Batten update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2011 – 11:15 am

In the morning walk through, Arthur Moats, as Chan Gailey indicated was lining up at inside linebacker with the second unit. Alongside him was a rookie.

Sixth-round pick Chris White lined up next to Moats on the inside. They were flanked by Aaron Maybin and Antonio Coleman. Coleman rotated with Danny Batten who is back at his more natural outside linebacker spot. Late last season Batten was studying up to be an inside linebacker, but after Kelvin Sheppard and White were drafted Batten was moved back outside.


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Players ready to roll

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2011 – 5:02 pm

Bills players are ready to get to their team facilities.

Linebacker Danny Batten confirmed that he had heard from Buffalo’s coaching staff and intends to be at One Bills Drive on Tuesday.

dannybatten57 It’s official, just got the call from my coach to come in tomorrow.. Let’s do this
 
Under the new CBA players can report to team facilities for conditioning work as early as Tuesday at 10 am.

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Batten working with Fitzgerald

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2011 – 1:09 pm

Bills LB Danny Batten is an Arizona native, and it appears he’s been spending part of his offseason training regimen with a certain Pro Bowl receiver from the Arizona Cardinals.

Batten shared via his twitter account that he’s been working out with Larry Fitzgerald, who is known to have a grueling offseason routine.

dannybatten57 Really tough workout today with @Ko_Quaye98 @LarryFitzgerald, feelin pretty Good about my conditioning after this run…
 
Suffice to say if you’re a linebacker and you’re keeping up with Fitzgerald you are in pretty good cardiovascular shape.

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Danny Batten ready to roll

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2011 – 9:43 am

After losing out on his rookie season due to shoulder surgery LB Danny Batten is eager to prove himself once again.

In an interview with the Associated Press Batten explained how eager he is to perform in front of Bills coaches to prove he deserves a spot on the roster. Batten is working out with his fellow Bills teammates in Elma this week.

Batten was lined up at outside linebacker in training camp last summer before sustaining the shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve. Through the course of the 2010 season he was asked to learn inside linebacker in the film room while on I-R. Now with the drafting of Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White, head coach Chan Gailey provided a strong indication that Batten would again move back to outside linebacker.

When asked specifically if Batten would be moving back outside, Gailey provided the following comment.

“That’s something to be determined as time goes on,” Gailey said. “There’s going to have to be some movement yes, but don’t know which way it’s going to go right now. But that’s one of the things that we are considering at this point.”


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Fan Friday 5-6

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2011 – 11:24 am

Our first post-draft Fan Friday after a two week hiatus. There was just no way for me to turn around a Fan Friday on draft weekend with all the information we had to get out to you fans. So let’s get going with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hey Chris,

Thanks for all the great draft coverage, as always. Kelvin Sheppard seems like a great pick in the third round, but I was a bit surprised we didn’t take Martez Wilson, who everyone seemed to think we were going to draft back with the 34th pick. Couldn’t believe he was still there in the third. You appeared to be thrilled with the Sheppard pick as well but had been high on Wilson leading up to the draft. Can you compare the two, why you think Buddy went for Sheppard, and if/why you think that was the right call?

Thanks again,
Robert (Seattle)
CB: Wilson is more of a hybrid type linebacker. He has great length and is athletic, but he’s not a stuff the run type linebacker that Buffalo needed in the middle of their defense. He’s long and lanky with a lot of straight line speed. In fact the Saints are saying they’re going to use him as an OLB, which makes sense.

The Bills needed an interior run stuffer and Sheppard fits that profile better. I was very impressed with what I saw from Sheppard at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a better college resume than Wilson and better intangibles than him as well (leadership, instincts).

2 - Chris,
Leading up to the draft Jerry Jones claimed that 2 NFL teams have contacted him about trading up for the Cowboys #9 first round pick in this years draft.
    
Did you heard anything about teams interested in trading for the Bills #3 first round pick in this years draft?

It seems to me that the Bills need extra high draft picks to become a contender. Like the Patriots get every year. It might be to Buffalo’s advantage to trade the #3 pick for extra draft choices.

Lee D

CB: I understand your point and there were phone calls made to the Bills prior to the opening of the draft and during the early stages of the draft in round one. I’ll provide you with Buddy Nix’s description of it.

“We probably got 15 calls every round people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks,” said Nix. “I don’t say this is always the case because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that.”

Really what it comes down to is different philosophies. The Patriots love to move up and down the draft board and acquire picks for the future. This is admirable, but I also believe New England passes up some good opportunities and this year would be a good example.

They desperately needed a pass rusher. Their third down defense was worst in the league, and they had a chance with all their high picks to get an impact performer. They chose not instead trading away their 28th overall pick to New Orleans and their 60th overall pick to Houston. It can work for you and against you. I think this year it worked against the Patriots.

Sometimes less really is more and the Bills may have proven that in being one of nine NFL clubs that did not make a single trade in the 2011 NFL draft.

3 - Hi Chris,

I’d like to know what you think about the potential QBs in next year’s draft vs this year’s draft.  Any franchise material in that one?  Do the Bills look ahead to the seniors and possible juniors of the future or do they only focus on the current drafts prospects?  I’ve also seen a good idea about trading pick #34 for a 1st rounder next year to help us secure a franchise QB in that draft if one we like is there such as Luck, or another guy I like is Kirk Cousins from MSU.  Your thoughts please.

Thanks -Showtime.

CB: I’m not going to pretend to know any of these QB prospects for 2012, but here are some of the more highly-touted QBs for 2012. Andrew Luck (duh), USC’s Matt Barkley, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Arizona’s Nick Foles and your guy Kirk Cousins from Michigan State.

4 - Chris,

Could you give us a list of the prospects that have visited One Bills Drive?  I know you have been posting them as they come, but its hard to keep track of that, especially for those of us who simply cannot get to BB.com every day.

Thanks!

Jimmy (Fairport)

CB: I know the draft is over, but here’s the list of publicized names. I’ve been told there were a handful of others that were not made public.

Gabe Carimi
Von Miller
Kelvin Sheppard
Cam Newton
Marcell Dareus
Ryan Kerrigan
Christian Ponder
Justin Houston
Nick Fairley
Brooks Reed
Christian Ballard
Blaine Gabbert
Quan Sturdivant
Bruce Carter
Robert Quinn
Cameron Jordan
J.J. Watt
Da’Quan Bowers

 

5 - Hello Mr. Brown,
   What is the deal with Danny Batten? I know he was on I-R all last season, but does he have a shot at making the cut or even starting?
Thanks,
Bill

CB: The most recent comments from Coach Gailey are that there is a strong likelihood that Batten moves back to outside linebacker. That’s where he started in training camp before his torn rotator cuff injury required surgery.

He was still in the all the meetings while he rehabbed late in the season, and the coaching staff shifted him to inside linebacker to learn that position instead.

Now with the acquisition of Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White in the draft, Gailey sounds like he’s leaning toward putting him back outside.

I think it’d be a good move for Batten. He spent the majority of his college career as an edge rusher so he’ll likely feel comfortable out there.

As for a role on the team, there’s a lot more competition now with Shawne Merriman in the fold and fellow draft classmate Arthur Moats emerging in the second half of the season. He’s essentially a rookie having not played last year so we’ll see.


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Batten could be on move

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2011 – 10:09 am

Bills LB Danny Batten, who missed the 2010 season due to shoulder surgery was shifted from outside linebacker to inside linebacker while he learned the scheme in the meeting rooms last year. After Buffalo’s most recent additions in this year’s draft it’s possible that he’ll be on the move again.

Head coach Chan Gailey said nothing is set in stone, but did admit it’s possible that with the additions of third round pick Kelvin Sheppard and sixth round pick Chris White, both inside linebackers, that Batten could be shifting back outside again.

“That’s something to be determined as time goes on,” said Gailey. “There’s going to have to be some movement yes, but don’t know which way it’s going to go right now. But that’s one of the things that we are considering at this point.”

In all likelihood Batten would have no problem with such a move as he spent the majority of his college career rushing off the edge anyway.


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I-R frustrating for Batten

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2011 – 10:18 am

Rookie LB Danny Batten never made it out of training camp last summer as a severely separated shoulder led to surgery and injured reserve. He recently reflected on his frustrating rookie season as a spectator.

Speaking with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader while back at his college campus, Batten expressed how tough it was to watch his draft classmates “make names for themselves” and get their feet wet in the NFL.

The last time I spoke with Batten toward the end of the 2010 season he told me he had been moved to inside linebacker where it’s anticipated he’ll line up in 2011. Seeing it mentioned that he has a new position coach to get used to in Dave Wannstedt indicates that’s still the plan heading into next season. Wannstedt is in charge of inside linebackers with Bob Sanders handling the outside backers.


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Fan Friday 10-22

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2010 – 12:58 pm

It’s another week of your questions. Let’s get right to them (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Chris:
I know the trade deadline has passed, but wouldn’t now be the time to move veteran players (i.e. Lee Evans) to a team like the Chargers or even the Patriots IF the Bills could get multiple picks?  By the time the Bills are ready to become competitive Lee Evans may be starting the downside of his career, and I believe the Bills expect (WR) Marcus Easley to become his replacement.  Buddy Nix did say he would like to collect more picks to build this team and the only way to do that would be to move assets now that may not help the team when it is ready to win in the distant future.
 
Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell

CB: I don’t think moving Lee is a wise move, even this offseason, for a couple of reasons. First, I think because Evans has played on an unsuccessful unit, his value around the league would be depressed from what it should be and thus the Bills would likely be unable to get fair market value.

Second, if the Bills have a quarterback of the future on this roster next year that they drafted high, you’re going to want a veteran receiver on this roster that said QB can rely on. Don’t underestimate the value of that for a young signal caller, and it’d be hard to get a better receiver for a youngster to lean on than Evans.

2 - Reebok is no longer going to be the supplier of the NFL jerseys and Nike is taking over due to contract expiration. So what are the chances of the Bills getting new jerseys for the next season since most fans are in consensus that our current jerseys are ugly, most want either new jerseys, a modern version of the 90s jerseys, or the throwbacks full time.

Joe From Buffalo

CB: Nike will be taking over with jerseys, but not until the 2012 season, when the current deal with Reebok expires. New Era will also be taking over for hats.

Nike has promised to “dramatically change” the NFL uniform, but they’re referring more to the performance aspects of the jerseys (breathability, body cooling technology, etc).

Nike has no latitude to make any uniform modifications to any NFL jersey whatsoever, but I would anticipate that there will be some NFL teams that apply for jersey modifications in conjunction with Nike coming on board in 2012.

And that would need to be done sooner rather than later knowing that applying to the league for uniform modifications is a 12 to 18-month process. Whether the Bills are in that number remains to be seen.

3 – Chris,
We’re in a “hybrid” 4-3/3-4 which makes no sense at all. We have Kelsay running around in space trying to defend the pass, and we have Maybin bull rushing OT’s and getting buried. No pressure on QB’s, no solid run defense, and no ball hawking defensive backs (0 Int’s for defensive backs this year). This defense ensures that we’re terrible in every phase.
 
At what point are Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey going to hold our defensive coaches accountable the way they have held our personnel accountable?
 
Joe

CB: I think whenever a team undergoes a dramatic scheme change struggles have to be anticipated. The struggles were not expected to be this severe by anybody including the coaching staff, but there’s no getting around the deficiencies.

I think the heavier run front with four down linemen is a good idea. The only thing I wouldn’t mind seeing is lining up Kyle Williams at end and Marcus Stroud inside. Williams is the kind of player that could do just about anything you need a lineman to do. I’d be real interested to see what he could do on the edge in that look.

It starts with stopping the run and they’re looking for a way to shore that up. If they can then it will create more obvious passing situations, and defensive coordinator George Edwards can get more aggressive with blitz calls, which will lead to some hurried throws and more opportunities to make plays on the ball. Hopefully you see how it all fits together, but as Chan Gailey has said, if you can’t stop the run none of the other stuff even matters.

Once they can address that, they can address some of their other shortcomings.
4 - Chris, what happened with Danny Batten?  He was another late round pick who was projected to play at OLB.  I know he was injured early in training camp or OTAs, but is he still on the roster?  If he is, is there any chance he makes it back into the fold this year?

John
Youngstown, NY

CB: Danny Batten sustained a severe shoulder injury in training camp that required surgery and was put on injured reserve before the season even started.

The labrum in his shoulder was almost completely torn and he had a couple of ligaments that were damaged as well. One was almost completely torn and the other was partially torn. The head of his arm bone was also compromised (the part that fits into the shoulder socket).

But Batten has done very well in his rehab. Just this past week he began resistance training as he’s now allowed to lift light weights with his surgically repaired arm/shoulder.

He’s also been shifted to an inside linebacker position, which he is studying up on in the classroom. Batten is expected to be full go for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program next March.
5 - Hello Chris,
I had a question for you, since Ralph Wilson has come out and said a QB is our first priority, is he ready to make the investment and pay the 50 to 75 million that it would take to sign a first round draft pick at QB? Why does Buddy need to go on the road, all we need to know is about three QB’s and I’ve been able to watch them from home every Saturday Arkansas, Washington and Stanford.
 
Thanks,
Michael

CB: First, it’s unclear what kind of salary commitment an NFL owner will have to make to a high draft pick because there is the possibility of a rookie cap being instituted as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. So Sam Bradford’s deal this past summer, which included $50 million guaranteed may soon be a thing of the past.

With respect to Buddy Nix’s going out on the road to scout quarterbacks and prospects at other positions, it’s a necessary part of the scouting process. If you believe you learn all you need to know about a player by watching him play in games you’ll miss the mark far more than you think.

How they play is a big part of the evaluation process, granted, but knowing a prospect’s practice habits, what makes them tick, family background, leadership ability, etc. cannot be accurately gleaned off of game tape alone. As Nix says himself, you have to “smell their breath.”

And the only reason you believe there are just three worthy QB prospects in the draft is because the so called draft experts wrote as much. If you think Buddy Nix is going to take his cue as to who to scout from the media, then you don’t know Buddy Nix.


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Roster note regarding cuts

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2010 – 12:31 pm

With the deadline to release players to get the roster down to 75, there is one note that should be mentioned.

Despite the fact that Danny Batten and Marcus Easley have both been placed on injured reserve, they currently still count toward the roster total in the preseason. So although the Bills have only 78 healthy players on their roster, their roster total in the eyes of the NFL is still 80.

But by 4 pm Tuesday the two I-R’d players will no longer count so ultimately the team will only have to move three players off their roster to get down to 75. Batten and Easley will no longer count against the roster effective Tuesday at 4 pm.

The reason Felton Huggins and Michael Matthews do not count against the team’s roster total is because they were put through waivers before reverting to the team’s injured reserve list.


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Batten update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2010 – 5:18 pm

The news on Danny Batten’s shoulder injury was better than it was for some of Buffalo’s injured receivers Tuesday.

Batten was seen on the practice field Tuesday out of his sling that had been keeping his right shoulder immobilized.

“He’s getting better,” said Chan Gailey. “We’ll see where that takes us. He won’t be ready this week, probably next week either. He’ll probably be lucky to get the last couple (of practices).”


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Batten prognosis provided

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2010 – 5:27 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey gave a prognosis on LB Danny Batten’s shoulder injury Tuesday.

“We’re still in the decision making process on the direction for him,” said Gailey. “It could be as little as two weeks, it could be as long as six weeks.”

No word from Gailey as to whether surgery might be an option they’re weighing.


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