Manuel Hurt In Preseason Win
Three Return To Practice: Leodis McKelvin, Kiko Alonso, and T.J. Graham all returned to practice Sunday in varying capacities. Sitting out were EJ Manuel, Crezdon Butler, Kendall Gaskins, Kourtnei Brown, Thomas Welch and Keith Williams. Alonso was full go after sitting Friday night as a precaution. McKelvin alternated in and out of team drills and is expected to play on Saturday night in Washington. Graham got his feet wet back on the field but was very limited. Gaskins was new on the list of players not participating. Butler is expected to be day to day. Injury Page.
Five Off The Roster: The Bills trimmed their roster by five players today by releasing four and placing WR Kevin Elliott on injured reserve. He tore his ACL during Friday night's game in a non contact play. The four players released were OT Tony Hills, DB Mark LeGree, WR Terrell Sinkfield and DB Don Unamba. All of them were late comers to the team as they all joined the club after camp started and never really made any head way on the depth chart. Front Office Page.
Manuel Has Surgery: EJ Manuel underwent surgery at 8am this morning on his knee. Doug Marrone would not elaborate on the exact nature of the injury after practice this morning. He did say that it was a very, very, minor procedure and he will be day to day after the preseason. The team has no plans to bring in another quarterback at this time. It is still unclear on which play Manuel got hurt on. He thought it may have been on a running play on his first drive but the film doesn't reveal anything unusual. The coach said Manuel still has a chance to be ready for opening day but there are a lot of variables at play before they know if he would be ready to start. They will need to see where he is once he gets back on the field.
Saturday August 17, 2013
Manuel Out: EJ Manuel will miss the rest of the preseason with a knee injury. He woke up this morning with swelling and had an MRI which revealed he needs a small surgical procedure. He will be reevaluated before the opener. Doug Marrone released a statement that said, "EJ Manuel had some swelling in his left knee this morning and was examined by our medical staff. An MRI revealed that he will need to have a minor knee procedure and that has been scheduled. He will miss the remainder of the preseason and then be re-evaluated at that time. Kevin Kolb will be our starting quarterback for this weekend’s game at Washington. Additionally, wide receiver Kevin Elliott has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season."
Friday August 16, 2013
No Starter Named: Doug Marrone would not name a starting QB for next week's preaseason game in Washington during his post game press conference. He said he hasn't looked that far ahead and would be hesitant to make a decision since you don't know what could happen during the week. It would be shocking after this game if EJ Manuel does not get that start.
Elliott Hurt In Win: Kevin Elliott suffered the only significant injury from the win according to Coach Marrone. He was carted off and Joe Buscaglia of WGR tweeted he was seen with an air cast on his left leg and crutches. He just came back from a shoulder injury. Injury Page.
Bills Beat Vikings 20-16: Jamie Blatnick fell on a fumble in the end zone and EJ Manuel hit Brad Smith for a four yard scoring pass as the Bills held on to beat the Vikings 20-16 for their second straight preseason victory. Dustin Hopkins hit two field goals in the first half but that was all the offense Kevin Kolb could muster in his half of football while Manuel led the Bills on a touchdown drive on the opening drive of the second half to build a 20-3 lead. The starting defense looked very good as the offense sputtered with the exception of Manuel's big drive.
Who Helped Themselves: EJ Manuel helped himself more than anyone else as he has almost certainly locked up the starting quarterback job. He went 10 of 12 for 92 yards and a touchdown when he led the team on a 14 play, 80 yard scoring drive ending with a touchdown pass. Jamie Blatnick was johnny on the spot with his defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery. Jerry Hughes forced that fumble and dominated defensively as he started for Mario Williams. He also had two sacks. Marcus Dowtin had a sack and led the team with four tackles.Marcus Easley once again led the way receiving with three catches for 46 yards.
Who Hurt Themselves: Kevin Kolb lost any chance he had at the starting QB job as he struggled in one half of action. He led the team to two field goal drives but that was it as he finished 13 of 21 for 111 yards and an interception. The coaching staff has some explaining to do after a second straight week of too many penalties. They had a whopping 14 of them for 106 yards.
Home Preseason Game Tonight: The Bills will hold their first of two preseason games at Ralph Wilson Stadium tonight at 7pm as the Minnesota Vikings are in town for week 2 of the exhibition schedule. Kevin Kolb gets the start at quarterback but there is no word on how much he, or the starters, will play.
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Thursday August 15, 2013
Bills Release Tipoti: Bills have reached an injury settlement with DT Aaron Tipoti and have released him. He suffered an ankle injury on August 5th and wasn't getting enough reps before that. He had little chance to make the team. Front Office Page.
Kolb To Start Tomorrow: Kevin Kolb will get the start tomorrow night for the home preseason opener against Minnesota. Coach Marrone announced the decision after practice but said not too read anything into it. The decision was made in the interest of having a fair competition and had nothing to do with the way EJ Manuel played. They were happy with his performance against Indianapolis. Marrone said that the original plan had Kolb starting last week and Manuel this week but the knee injury to Kolb forced the change. Stevie Johnson was back on the practice field last night taking limited drills. He will not play this week but may have a chance to play next week against Washington. Kiko Alonso will also sit as a precaution with a slight shoulder injury. He left practice early on Tuesday and did not practice last night. He is cleared to play but Marrone wants to keep him out. Scott Chandler likely will see some playing time against Minnesota and Brad Smith has an outside chance at seeing action as he also returned to practice last night. Injury Page.
Wednesday August 14, 2013
Bills Sign LB: The Bills added another outside linebacker with ties to Mike Pettine. Former Jet Jamaal Westerman is the newest Bill and should challenge for playing time fairly quickly since he knows the terminology. He spent three years with the Jets before going from Miami, Arizona, and Indianapolis last year. He has 5 1/2 career sacks and played in the playoffs last year with the Colts. Depth Chart.
Bills Release Caussin: The Bills made another roster move before tonight's practice as they have released TE Mike Caussin designating him as waived/injured. He could just never stay on the field. He was on injured reserve last year with a torn ACL and has missed the last two weeks of camp with a hip injury. Front Office Page.
Preseason Blackout: Friday night's preseason game at Ralph Wilson Stadium is blacked out in Western New York. The annual kids day game will not be seen live on Television in the Buffalo and Rochester markets. Tickets are still available from ticketmaster or the box office and there will be several kid theme activities including interactive games, face painting, a magician, a live animal show, and post game fireworks.
Tuesday August 13, 2013
Butler Gets Top Reps Again: The Bills hit the practice field this morning with a workout that included live goal line drills. Crezdon Butler took reps with the first team for a second straight day after his solid performance against the Colts. T.J. Graham and Kourtnei Brown are both sitting today after leaving practice early yesterday. Graham has a groin pull that will cause him to miss Friday's game. T.J. Heath is also a new non participant. Also sitting were Stevie Johnson, Keith Williams, Brad Smith, Leodis McKelvin, Aaron Tipoti, and Mike Caussin. Dorin Dickerson and Justin Rogers are back on the field in some capacity. Kevin Kolb looked a lot better than he did yesterday as he seems to be improving quickly from his knee injury. Aaron Williams left practice early with cramps. Doug Marrone said after practice they are going to get him ready to play. Injury Page.
Bills Release Punter: The Bills have released punter Brain Stahovich which means that Shawn Powell will return as the team's punter. Powell has a stronger leg than Stahovich and strongly out kicked him in the preseason opener against Indianapolis. Depth Chart.
Monday August 12, 2013
Back On The Practice Field: The Bills are one of only a couple of teams who held a full practice and a walk through the day after a preseason game. Not practicing today were Stevie Johnson, Brad Smith, Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers, Aaron Tipoti, Keith Williams, Mike Caussin and Dorin Dickerson. Returning to practice were Keith Pough and Kevin Elliott. Kevin Kolb took part in team drills for the first time since injuring his knee. He was the third guy up after EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel but he did take first team reps. After a solid performance against Indianapolis, Crezdon Butler was the latest corner to get first team reps opposite Stephon Gilmore. Injury Page.
Players Who Helped Themselves: When you set a team record for most points in a preseason game several players are bound to have helped their case in making the team or climbing up the depth chart. The top player in this game may have been Jeff Tuel he is battling to convince the coaches to keep three quarterbacks and he picked up where he left off in the scrimmage as he shined in this one. He completed his first 9 passes in going 19 of 23 for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He did have a questionable fumble returned for a score as his one blemish. Marquise Goodwin may have wrapped up the kick return job already. He returned a kick 53 yards to setup a field goal than had a 107 yard return for a touchdown. Marcus Easley may have moved up a spot or two with his seven catch effort for 94 yards. On defense, Kiko Alonso had a nice pass breakup in the end zone and a good hit for a tackle. Crezdon Butler had an interception and a big pass breakup to force a field goal.
Players Who Hurt Themselves: Robert Brooks struggled getting beat for a long touchdown, he did force a fumble though. Thomas Welch had two holding calls at tackle while both Colin Brown and Doug Legursky struggled in the left guard battle. Da'Rick Rogers may have scored a touchdown against a third string corner but he had some mental lapses including not trying hard enough to chase down the defender who ran an interception back for a score. Da'Norris Searcy also struggled in coverage while Dustin Hopkins struggled on kickoffs but hit both field goal attempts.
Manuel's Performance: It was definitely a so-so performance by EJ Manuel yesterday. He struggled early against the number one defense but really ended well by going 9 of 9 in the two minute drill for 68 of his 107 yards. He finished the drive with his longest completion of the day, a 17 yard touchdown pass to Dorin Dickerson. He also had a couple of good decisions throwing the ball away or taking off and running including a 24 yard run on a field goal drive. The bottom line was without the two minute drill success everyone would be worried that he struggled. The fact is he did that against second and third stringers so the jury remains out on Manuel. The good news is, he looked comfortable back there and didn't have the deer in the headlights look. That is very promising.
Bills Come Out Healthy: Doug Marrone was pleased with how healthy the Bills ended the game. Thoams Welch left early with a facial laceration. TJ Heath suffered a thigh contusion. Dorin Dickerson tweaked his left ankle and Robert Brooks had his hamstring tighten up. None of the injuries are considered anything to worry about. Injury Page.
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