The Buffalo Bills have added another player to their roster. The team announced on Friday evening that they have claimed linebacker Marcus Dowtin off of waivers. He was just released by Philadelphia on Thursday.
Dowtin initially signed on with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent and made it on to their practice squad to start the year. On October 17th, the linebacker was brought up to the 53-man roster and appeared in three games.
Dowtin signed a reserve/future contract with Philadelphia in December, before being released this Thursday.
With the absence of Eric Wood in the lineup for the Buffalo Bills this week, who starts at center in place of him has been a mystery all week long.
Will it be starting right guard Kraig Urbik shifting over to center, or might it be undrafted rookie David Snow? Even on Friday, head coach Chan Gailey wasn't about to reveal the answer.
When asked if he would shed any light on the offensive line situation for Sunday, Gailey provided a bit of wit to the normally cut-and-paste Friday interview.
"We’ll have five [offensive linemen]," Gailey said. "Every play we’ll have five and some we’ll have six. That’s about as far as I’m ready to go on that. We know what we’re going to do but to be honest with you I don’t want to talk about it right now where everybody’s going to play."
They have to decide whether it's best to start an undrafted rookie at the incredibly important center position, or to affect three starting positions rather than just two by putting Urbik at center.
Whatever the decision will be, odds are it won't be revealed until Sunday.
Since Mark Anderson suffered his injury against San Francisco in Week 5, there has been an onset of ambiguity as to what kind of knee ailment has kept him off the field for seven games.
To this point, all we knew was that Anderson had to have an initial surgical procedure, had a setback, and needed an additional surgery. On Thursday, Anderson cleared up a bit of the confusion.
"It was just a torn lateral meniscus," said the Bills defensive end. "So, they had to go in and scope it out. Then it had a little catch in it, and then we had to re-scope it. That's all it was, just a torn lateral meniscus."
He also updated his progress after head coach Chan Gailey told reporters Wednesday that he was doing much better this week.
"Ever since the second surgery everything has been rolling along," Anderson remarked. "Each day it's getting a little bit better. That's why I'm just taking it one day at a time. Eventually it's going to be where it needs to be and then you'll see me on the field."
Might he be able to get on the field before the end of the season?
"That's the goal," Anderson replied. "At this point, all I can do is take it one day at a time. I'm working hard every day just trying to get back. It's looking good right now, but like I said, I'm just staying focused on the task and that's just to get back on the field."
Anderson has already been ruled out for the Bills' next contest against the St. Louis Rams. He has 12 tackles and one sack in five games this season. This has been the first time Anderson has spoken since his second surgery.
It's been a long and arduous road for Buffalo Bills third-string offensive tackle Sam Young.
During college, Young was trusted enough by a major college program to start as a freshman and continue to do so through his senior season. Leading Notre Dame all-time in career starts, playing time was never an issue for the offensive lineman.
Once the microscope started to focus in on his weaknesses more than his strengths, as any NFL Draft process will do, Young quickly found that it wouldn't be quite as easy as a professional. Taken in the sixth round by Dallas in 2010, Young hooked on for one season before being waived in September of 2011.
The Bills claimed his services shortly after his release, and he's hung around since. Due to multiple injuries to the offensive line, Young is on the precipice of his first career start in the NFL.
Not having a ginormous chance to see the field like this before, Young got a bit philosophical when speaking about what lies ahead for him.
"I think kind of what I've learned in my time, it's important to get your foot in the door," said Sunday's starting right tackle. "Once you get your foot in the door it's all up to you and as far as what you're going to make of your situation. If you say, 'Hey, look, I'm a late round guy,' and you don't take advantage of your opportunity, that's your fault. So, I'm just looking forward to take advantage of it."
I don't know about you, but that sounds more like a life lesson than any football cliché you hear or read time and time again. The same thing was brought up to Young.
"It's a fable," the third-year player said after a laugh. "Yeah, but you've got to look at it with the right attitude."
Young will face a stiff test against a St. Louis defensive line that is fourth in the NFL with 34 sacks. To read about Young and undrafted rookie David Snow, who each will be getting their first career start Sunday for the Bills, click here.
No matter the medium, whether it's a caller to a sports radio program, a commenter on a social media platform or during an in-person conversation, one thing always holds true around Buffalo in December:
Someone is bound to lecture about the early 90s and how home games in December were an advantage for the Bills, using the weather to get in the minds of their opponents.
The difference between 1991 and 2012? It's not only the opponents that dislike the weather conditions.
Take Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, for instance. Knowing that another cold and rainy game is on the horizon Sunday, much like the conditions last weekend against Jacksonville, Johnson was not as keen on the forecast as some would probably care for.
"It's gonna be raining, we know that. It sucks, in my own opinion," he said. "Personally, I don't like it at all. But it's beneficial towards our running backs, because come to find out when the weather's bad Freddy [Jackson], he's having those big games. C.J. [Spiller] is hard to stop. Whatever it is for the win, if we're running it a lot then it's cool if our running backs are getting off. But, if you ask me personally how I feel about it, I don't like it all."
Knowing that the inclement weather is at times a gasconading source for Buffalonians, it was quickly pointed out to Johnson that his comments may not go over so well.
"Right. And they take pride in this bad weather. But I'm still a California kid," he said, with a wide smile on his face. "I adapt to it. I try to do what I can, be in position to make the plays and try my best to do it. I know everybody else feels the same way, my receivers. But at the end of the day, we still have to get a win. We may think it's bad, but, think about the dome team coming in. So, we should be able to take advantage of it."
The ever-changing forecast now calls for a high of 41-degrees, 11 mile-per-hour winds and a 50-percent chance of rain. Johnson, the rest of the Bills and the St. Louis Rams will all have to hunker down and attempt to stay warm on Sunday.
During the first of three practices leading up to their game against the Buffalo Bills, the St. Louis Rams were without two key pieces of their offense at practice.
Starting running back Steven Jackson and wide receiver Danny Amendola are among five players that did not participate on Wednesday for the Rams. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jackson has sat out each of the past three Wednesdays with a foot injury and eventually played in the game on Sunday. Meanwhile Amendola's foot injury is on the mend after having to sit out of the team's last game against San Francisco.
Rounding out the Rams' injury report are linebacker Mario Haggan (elbow), tight end Mike McNeill (thigh) and center Scott Wells (knee). All three did not participate in the session.
With the emergence of Buffalo Bills defensive end Kyle Moore as a starter in recent weeks, there hasn't been much talk of free agent acquisition Mark Anderson and fans hoping that he gets back in a timely manner.
Anderson sat out of his seventh straight game on Sunday, and will not play once again when the Bills take on the St. Louis Rams at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Head coach Chan Gailey gave a brief update on his defensive end.
"It'll be tough for him this week, but things are looking a lot better than they were this time last week."
A pair of procedures on his knee were deemed necessary since initially injuring it against San Francisco in October. Whether he can return in time for the contest against the Seattle Seahawks in Toronto has yet to be determined.
When the Buffalo Bills take on the St. Louis Rams at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, the weather conditions are looking as though they'll be worse than they were last week against Jacksonville.
Varying somewhere between 48 and 53 degrees, a steady rain and an early lead helped the Bills key in on their run game. When they play against the Rams, the weather is projected to boast only a high of 40 degrees, 11 mile-per-hour winds and a 50-percent chance of rain.
With the Rams being a dome team for at least half their season each year, on paper the inclement weather should be a leg-up for the Bills. But like Buffalo, St. Louis is at their best on offense when the team's running game is going.
"[The weather is] only as big an advantage as you make it," said Bills' defensive tackle Kyle Williams. "Teams around the league, even dome teams, they will get out and play in this kind of stuff. But, when we have bad weather games up here, obviously we should be more accustomed to it."
"Obviously I think they want to run the ball. Everything they do, they run the ball to set up everything else, their play action games and things like that. It goes back on what we've talked about the past couple of weeks. We have to have success on first and second down to be able to do anything to disrupt [Sam Bradford]."
Last week, Bills running backs rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 39 carries. In 2012, Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson have helped the Rams average 115.1 yards per game on the ground.
The Bills and Rams square off in Orchard Park on Sunday.
Another day of practice down in Jacksonville, and two more Jaguars starters had to miss the session because of an injury. Interestingly enough, the two additions to the injury report just so happen to be both the team's starting wide receivers.
Rookie Justin Blackmon (groin) and Cecil Shorts III (hamstring) had to miss the session due to injury. Each player was a full participant on Wednesday. They join three other starters that were also non-participants: halfback Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), DE Austen Lane (foot) and cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring). All three did not particpate on Wednesday either.
Both defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and center Brad Meester returned to practice after missing the session on Wednesday. Alualu was limited due to a calf injury, while Meester took all normal starting reps despite a foot injury.
The Jaguars' injury report is rounded out by fullback Greg Jone (thigh) and cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin), who were each limited for the second straight day.
The Jaguars take on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday at 1 pm.
Through the past two weeks, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been rejuvenated on offense mostly due to the play of quarterback Chad Henne.
In two games, Henne has thrown for 615 yards, six touchdowns as opposed to just one interception. Even more important, the Jaguars won last week and came quite close to pulling a major upset on the road in Houston during an overtime loss.
"Henne, if you can't get him off the spot or you're not in his face, he's always been able to make good throws, makes good decisions," said Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams. "That goes a long way for an offense."
With the way the Bills defensive line has been playing, maybe that ideology will work. However, it's easier said than done, and Williams made sure to say that there's a whole lot more that goes in to it.
"Yeah, what you've got to try to make him move, get him off the spot. But number one we have to stop the run," he said. "You get in 3rd-and-3 and 3rd-and-4 down situations, that's no good for you. If we can get up and win on first and second down, get him in some longer spots where we can get him off the spot and get off the field it'll be better."
With Henne at the helm, the Jaguars have posted a whopping 61 points over the past two weeks. They take on the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
In the off-season, the Buffalo Bills elected to bring linebacker Kirk Morrison back on a one-year contract with the intention of him playing. With the Bills switching back to a 4-3, the team thought he would be the best fit to start at strongside linebacker.
Twelve weeks in to the season Morrison has yet to be active in one of the team's games, which wasn't exactly the expectations of either side. Despite not dressing for the games, Morrison has really taken on the veteran leadership role to help younger players when they may be getting frustrated by how things are going.
One of the most glaring examples of that came in the Bills' 45-3 loss to San Francisco, in which Morrison was basically in the hip pocket of wideout Stevie Johnson when the team's top receiver was getting frustrated. He talked to him and helped calm him down on the sidelines despite only being dressed in a Bills hat, t-shirt and shorts.
But there is an obvious frustration that may not be vocalized, but any competitive player in the NFL will have it if they aren't seeing the field at all. Morrison said he's just staying ready for the call.
"Just doing what I can -- what I can control," he said. "Working out every day, being at practice every day, being just intense in my meetings, intense in my preparations. I prepare every week as if I'm gonna play. I'm on this team for a reason. I wish I could go out there and show what I can do, but the coaches make that decision. For me, I just sit back and do what I can to help the guys out. I try to give as much knowledge as I can, try to cheer the guys up, make sure the guys are in tune to what's going on in the football game. Other than that, just waiting for your opportunity to come."
The Bills will be going up against one of Morrison's old teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
The Buffalo Bills will attempt to get their season back on track on Sunday against the 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. If the injury report holds, the Bills' next opponents could be severely short-handed on Sunday.
After Wednesday's practice, the Jaguars showed five starters that did not participate in the session. Those names include running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (calf), cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring), defensive end Austen Lane (foot) and center Brad Meester (foot).
Of the five, Jones-Drew has already been ruled out of the contest which means backup Rashad Jennings will get the start.
A pair of other starters, cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin) and fullback Greg Jones (thigh), were each limited at Wednesday's practice.
Check back as the days go by for updates on the Jaguars' injuries.
We've all been through it a time or two in our lives. When a new boss gets brought in, there is a feeling-out period where you try to find ways to help acclimate yourself with your direct superior.
It's the same case for players when a new head coach comes in. Fortunately for Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny, he was able to get off on the right foot with head coach Mike Mularkey because of their time spent in a certain place.
You guessed it: Buffalo.
"You know, when we first met that was obviously some common ground," Posluszny said. "I told him I lived in Hamburg, and he knew the neighborhood that I lived in. All the great restaurants. It was nice to be able to share some common ground there."
Posluszny spent four seasons in Buffalo before bolting to Jacksonville via free agency, while Mularkey was the head coach of the Bills from 2004 to 2005.
Sunday marks the first time each will be back at Ralph Wilson Stadium for a regular season game in which they resume the roles the once had as a member of the Bills organization.
When Buffalo Bills cornerback Aaron Williams went down with a knee injury against Houston, he and the team both feared the worst.
Williams needed to be helped off the field without putting any pressure on his knee, and even was carted off the field once he got to the sidelines.
Fast-forward three-and-a-half weeks, and Williams is back doing limited work at practice for the Bills this week.
"It felt good being back, still got some issues here and there, but I'm way past of what my expectations were," Williams said Thursday. "Doing a little bit more running than I expected, a little bit more cutting, so I'm progressing good."
The second-year cornerback said he was originally told it would be anywhere from four-to-six weeks before he could entertain the thought of getting back on the field. After doing some individual work on Wednesday, he hopes to just take it one day at a time and do a little bit more to get back in to football shape.
Following the Buffalo Bills' latest loss to the New England Patriots, starting free safety Jairus Byrd suffered a hip injury. Although it was expected that Byrd would be ready for the Bills' next game in San Francisco, the safety failed to participate in the first practice of the week on Wednesday.
On Thursday, it was a different story. Byrd was back, working with the defensive backs through the portion of practice the media is allowed to witness. Whether or not he was limited during the session will be revealed by head coach Chan Gailey following practice.
Only three players did not participate for the second straight day. Defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (ankle) is the only unexpected player to not practice so far this week. Meanwhile offensive linemen Cordy Glenn (ankle) and Kraig Urbik (ankle) also did not participate, as was anticipated at the beginning of the week.
Wide receiver Ruvell Martin, who has missed the past two games due to an ankle injury, practiced for the second straight day. He injured himself on the final Bills' punt of the game against Kansas City late in the fourth quarter.
The New England Patriots are notorious for listing any little injury on the weekly report, sometimes even comically so.
However, one of the names listed with the 'DNP' distinction isn't a laughing matter for the Patriots.
Longtime starting left guard Logan Mankins is the most notable and perhaps unexpected player to not participate in New England's practice on Wednesday. He's listed with a hip injury, despite playing the first three games of the season.
As expected, Aaron Hernandez didn't practice due to a long-term ankle injury. Defensive end Brandon Deaderick (ankle), wide receiver Julian Edelman (head) and defensive tackle Justin Francis (ankle) also did not participate.
A staple of the Patriots' injury report, quarterback Tom Brady was a "limited participant" with his patented right shoulder injury. Also listed with the limited distinction were cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), center Nick McDonald (shoulder), cornerback Sterling Moore (knee), running back Shane Vereen (foot) and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back).
Among those players, only Brady and Vollmer are starters. Neither player has missed a game this season.
On Thursday, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey told reporters that Fred Jackson was a bit ahead of schedule. As reporters were being escorted out of practice on Friday, Jackson looked fairly fluid in his movements on his injured knee.
Jackson, now only 12 days removed from a sprained LCL, participated in change-of-direction and agility drills with trainers watching. Sporting a brace on his injured right knee, Jackson made cuts and didn't show much hesitation in the few repetitions that were seen.
The running back was originally scheduled to miss anywhere from three-to-eight weeks. There has been no updated timetable for a potential Jackson return, but the 31-year old has had a positive week of practice that have allowed thoughts of a rapid recovery to creep in.
Jackson has been ruled out for the Bills' upcoming contest versus Cleveland.
As the Cleveland Browns continued along in their week of preparations for the Buffalo Bills, two players improved well enough to become full participants during Thursday's practice.
Starting defensive tackle Billy Winn (head) and backup left tackle Oniel Cousins (ankle) were but upgraded and fully took part in the session. They join starting linebacker Scott Fujita (knee), running back Trent Richardson (knee) and wide receiver Greg Little (back) as the full participants listed on the injury report.
The Browns still have three players limited including return specialist Joshua Cribbs, who is dealing with a knee ailment. Backup defensive end Juqua Parker (foot) and backup safety Ray Ventrone (hand) were the two other limited players.
Linebacker James-Michael Johnson and tight end Alex Smith both did not participate for the second straight day. After practice on Friday, teams will unveil the official injury status for their players heading in to the weekend.
The Bills (1-1) and Browns (0-2) square off on Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
When the Buffalo Bills head to Cleveland to try and snap their 8-game road losing streak against the Browns, they'll be doing so against what looks to be a fairly healthy starting lineup according to the Wednesday injury report.
The Browns had only one starter listed as a limited participant for the first practice of the week. Rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn, who is starting in place of the PUP-listed Phil Taylor, had his repetitions lessened due to a head injury.
Three other Browns starters are listed on the official injury report, but were all full participants. Running back Trent Richardson (knee), wide receiver Greg Little (back) and linebacker Scott Fujita (knee) all took part fully in the Wednesday session.
As far as Cleveland's depth players go, two players did not practice in any capacity. Linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs, oblique) and tight end Alex Smith (head) make up that list. Meanwhile backup left tackle Oniel Cousins (ankle), wide receiver Joshua Cribbs (knee), defensive end Juqua Parker (foot), and free safety Ray Ventrone (hand) were all limited.
Following Wednesday's practice report, the Kansas City Chiefs saw three defensive starters limited in the first session of the week. On Thursday, one took a definitive step forward in getting ready for the game.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers, who sat out of the team's Week One contest with a foot injury, practiced in full for the first time this week. Both he and reserve cornerback Jalil Brown made the jump up in the distinction.
As for the other two starters, nose tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle) and safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) were each limited participants for the second straight day. Defensive end Allen Bailey (ankle) was also limited in the session, and wide receiver Devon Wylie missed his second practice of the week.
The Chiefs will unveil the official game status for their injured players following practice on Friday. They clash with the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday at 1 pm.
A new week and a new team to monitor with injuries in mind.
The Buffalo Bills are up against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Two of the season, and their opponents have a couple of key defenders limited in practice as the week begins. Starting nose tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (foot) were not able to take all the reps expected of starters on Wednesday.
Other Chiefs' players limited on Wednesday include defensive end Allen Bailey (ankle), safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and cornerback Jalil Brown (groin). Rookie wide receiver Devon Wylie did not participate due to a hamstring injury.
Check back on Thursday for the next set of updates.
Throughout his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver David Nelson has made it a habit of escaping what could have been serious injuries to come back in a short amount of time.
After the team's loss to the New York Jets, Nelson's luck ran out.
The third-year wide receiver suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter of the Bills' regular season opener, and was placed on Injured Reserve by the team on Tuesday. Before leaving the game with the injury, Nelson had two catches for 31 yards.
Over the course of his first two seasons with the Bills, Nelson amassed 92 catches for 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns. He served as the slot receiver in the team's spread attack.
With an opening on the roster, the Bills have signed running back Johnny White on to the 53-man squad. White was drafted by the team in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played in 12 games for the Bills last season, carrying the ball 12 times for 38 yards.
He was released on August 31 after losing the battle as the third-string running back to Tashard Choice. White, who previously wore No. 20 before his release, will be No. 29 from this point forward.
As the New York Jets continued their weekly preparations, on Thursday they saw a pair of offensive players be upgraded from their practice statuses just a day prior.
Tight end Dustin Keller and change-of-pace running back Joe McKnight both were able to do more on Thursday. In the case of Keller, it was the first time he took repetitions this week. He told reporters after practice that he expects to play on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
Meanwhile safety LaRon Landry took a turn for the worse.
Here is the injury report for the Jets on Thursday:
Did Not Participate: OL Dennis Landolt (knee), S Eric Smith (hip/knee), S LaRon Landry (heel)
Limited Participation: TE Dustin Keller (hamstring), G Brandon Moore (hip), LB Bryan Thomas (ankle), DE Mike DeVito (calf)
Full Participation: HB Joe McKnight (hamstring), LB Nick Bellore (shoulder), WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), WR Santonio Holmes (ribs), CB Ellis Lankster (quad), LB David Harris (ankle), S Josh Bush (concussion), WR Stephen Hill (calf)
Changes from Wednesday to Thursday:
- TE Dustin Keller: DNP to LP
- HB Joe McKnight: LP to FP
- LB Nick Bellore: LP to FP
- S LaRon Landry: FP to DNP
- WR Stephen Hill: Listed on injury report for first time as FP on Thursday.
The New York Jets haven't shown to be tight-lipped about much since Rex Ryan took over as head coach, and in the past few days they've been even less inclined to hide their intentions with backup quarterback and assumed 'Wildcat' extraordinaire Tim Tebow.
"Sure we're going to run some Wildcat, there's no doubt," Ryan said to begin the week.
When the Jets acquired Tebow, it led many to believe it could play a prominent and weekly role in the team's offensive attack. During the first twenty minutes of Buffalo Bills practice on Thursday, it appears the Jets' Week One foes will be as prepared as possible for the Wildcat attack.
In separate areas of the field, both the linebackers and defensive linemen were engaging in drills to help instill the 'stay at home' philosophy of defending an offense like that one. A coach for each grouping served as the role of Tebow.
It's unknown if the Bills did any further preparations against the Wildcat as practice wore on, due to media being restricted to just the stretching and positional portions of practice at the beginning.
"This team will probably be as prepared to face the Wildcat as any team we'll face," Ryan remarked.
If the beginning of Thursday is any indication, the Jets head coach may be on to something.
With each passing Wednesday, teams release their injury list through the league. While the Bills injury report contains only four players (Ron Brooks, Kraig Urbik, Brad Smith and Stevie Johnson), the Jets used up a bit more ink.
Here were the designations:
Did Not Practice: TE Dustin Keller (hamstring), S Eric Smith (hip/knee)
Limited Participation: RB Joe McKnight (hamstring), RG Brandon Moore (hip), LB Bryan Thomas (ankle), NT Sione Pouha (low back), DE Mike DeVito (calf), LB Nick Bellore (shoulder)
Full Participation: WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), WR Santonio Holmes (ribs), CB Ellis Lankster (quad), S LaRon Landry (heel), LB David Harris (ankle), S Josh Bush (concussion)
Offensive lineman Dennis Landolt has already been ruled out for the contest.
Check back on Thursday for any new upgrades and downgrades along the Jets' injury list.