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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Posts from September 2012

Patriots without Mankins Wednesday
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.

Bills' Jackson improving quickly
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.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia
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Topics: Sports
People: Chan GaileyFred Jackson

Two Browns improve, Cribbs limited
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.

Only 1 Browns starter limited Wednesday
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.

Chiefs' CB Flowers takes step forward
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.

Chiefs injury report: Wednesday
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.

Nelson to I-R; Bills sign HB White
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.
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Topics: Sports
People: David NelsonJohnny WhiteTashard Choice

Jets' Keller upgraded, Landry DNP
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.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR

Tebow, Wildcat on the mind at Bills practice
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.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR
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Topics: Sports
People: Rex RyanTim Tebow

Jets injury report: Wednesday
It's that time of year again.

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.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR

Stevie Johnson limited at Bills practice
As it turns out, Brad Smith isn't the only Buffalo Bills wide receiver that was limited at practice on Wednesday.

Stevie Johnson, the team's number-one wideout, was unexpectedly listed on the team's injury report as 'limited' during Wednesday's session. The injury saddled next to Johnson's name is the same word that accompanied it throughout much of last season: 'groin.'

The wideout did take a hard fall at practice during the 20-minutes the media was allowed to watch, and seemed to be walking gingerly. It is unknown if his tumble is related to his limited activity on Wednesday afternoon. Johnson was unavailable for comment in the team's brief open locker room period following practice.

Three other Bills players were on the injury list, including Ron Brooks (foot), Kraig Urbik (low back) and Brad Smith (groin). Brooks and Urbik did not practice, but the latter told reporters afterwards that it was just a rest day and he'll be back in full tomorrow. Brooks was the team's designation for the brand new I-R return player.

The Bills hit the practice field again on Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned to WGR Sports Radio 550 and WGR550.com for any new details.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR
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Topics: Sports
People: Brad SmithStevie Johnson

Ralph Wilson home from hospital, doing well
Hours before the Buffalo Bills entered their final preseason game against the Detroit Lions, news came down regarding team owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. and his hospitalization.

Wilson, 93, was checked in to a hospital for what WGRZ reported was a minor infection. According to head coach Chan Gailey on Wednesday, that visit is now over. When asked if Gailey had spoken with Wilson recently, that's when the head coach confirmed the team's only owner is back at the comfy confines of his home.

"We talked before he went in the hospital, and then I haven't talked to him since he got home [Tuesday]," he said. "We haven't talked yesterday, I'm sure we'll talk sometime soon though."

A spokesperson for the Bills said that Wilson is doing well.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR
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People: Chan GaileyRalph C. Wilson , Jr.Ralph Wilson

Bills add two to practice squad
The Buffalo Bills almost have their eight-man practice squad completely filled out.

The team announced on Monday afternoon that they have signed cornerback T.J. Heath and tight end LaMark Brown to their practice squad.

Heath spent 2011 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in five games total. He was then released and picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals for training camp in 2012. The Bengals released the 6-foot-1, 179-pound cornerback on August 31.

Brown spent his first training camp in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons before being let go on the final day of August. He's an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State-Mankato. He's a smaller tight end, measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 220-pounds.

The Bills now have seven players on their practice squad, with one empty spot remaining.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR
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People: T.J. Heath

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