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Bills Get Below Roster Limit

Manuel To Practice Fully Tomorrow: EJ Manuel took part in individual drills today but will take part in team drills tomorrow. Doug Marrone said he's ahead of schedule and a decision on who will start the opener will be made on Wednesday. Marrone said Jairus Byrd is working his way back and he's unsure if he will be ready for the Patriots game. Reports say that he's battling a plantar fasciitis injury and will get a second opinion. Doug Legursky is not a candidate for the IR designated to return list. He is doing better and the injury is not nearly as serious as originally thought.

Spiller Back: C.J. Spiller arrived near the end of practice and got a big hug from Doug Marrone. He was due back today and will practice tomorrow. He said Marrone was very supportive as was the running backs group as Fred Jackson and coach Tyrone Wheatley were in contact with him. He heard the news of the tragedy before the Redskins game and chose to play. He told the media, "I'd be lying if I said I put it behind me, there's still emotions there. Once I touch the field, my main focus is football".

Manuel Returns To Practice: EJ Manuel returned to practice today as it appears he will be ready to act as at least a backup on opening day. The team reportedly will not add a third quarterback so they must think Manuel will dress. They did keep Thad Lewis on the practice squad. C.J. Spiller was suppose to return today from his personal leave but was not on the field. Doug Legursky was also sidelined with the knee injury suffered Thursday night. Stephon Gilmore is the only other sidelined Bill.

Bills Add Five To Practice Squad; Sign Burton: The Bills started filling out their practice squad today with the signing of five players. They brought back LB Jamie Blatnick, DL Izaan Cross, and QB Thad Lewis. They signed G Mark Asper who was a sixth round pick of the Bills in 2012 but did not make the team. WR Tommy Streeter after being a sixth round pick of the Ravens last year but spent the season on injured reserve. The Bills confirmed the signing of CB Brandon Burton. He was a fifth round draft pick of the Vikings in 2011. He played in 14 games including one start over the last two years. He announced the signing on his twitter feed. The Bills still have two open roster spots. Front Office Page.

Three Roster Spots To Fill: The Bills begin preparations for the opener a week from today against New England. They hit the practice field this afternoon and are suppose to get C.J. Spiller back after he was gone for a week to deal with the family tragedy. They also are looking for three new players as they have three open spots on the roster. They likely have put in waiver claims on players that have been released. They need depth at quarterback, cornerback, and guard as well as smaller needs at other positions. There is a chance they will pick up more than three and someone who has made the team would have to be released or placed on injured reserve. Tim Graham reports that the injury to Doug Legursky is not nearly as bad as original seemed when he was carted off against Detroit. He doesn't need surgery and shouldn't need to go on IR.

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Saturday August 31, 2013

Bills Release Five More: The Bills made five more cuts on Sunday leaving the roster three below the 53 man limit so they are definitely going to add some players. The latest cuts include Bryan Scott who they likely were trying to trade and Thad Lewis. That means they are comfortable with where EJ Manuel is health wise or that they are bringing in another quarterback. If they don't add a QB than Manuel is likely ready to start and definitely ready to at least backup the opener. The team still desperately needs to add a guard and corner. Others released today are include former 2nd round pick Torell Troup, Jaime Blatnick who many thought would make the team, and Izhaan Cross. At this point all eight draft picks are on the roster, two undrafted free agents, one player from a trade, and six NFL free agents. Roster Cuts.

Roster Moves Still To Be Made: The Bills have until 6pm to get the roster down to 53. Right now it is at 55 but they have no healthy backup guards and only one healthy backup corner on the roster. So look for them to be picking up players along with cutting or trading players. Don't know yet if Doug Legursky will go on IR and if Bryan Scott will be released or traded as expected.

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Friday August 30, 2013

Bills Make 18 Cuts: The Bills officially announced 18 cuts. Everyone we mentioned earlier but Bryan Scott was on the list and there were no surprised otherwise. Tim Graham is reporting for the Buffalo News that the team is now trying to trade Scott. These moves along with the IR moves leaves the Bills roster at 55. They need to be at 53 by 6pm tomorrow. Roster Cuts.

Three To IR: The Bills continue to dwiddle the roster down to 53 as they reportedly have placed Brad Smith, Drew Smith, and Kevin Kolb on season ending injured reserve. Kolb was going to be out a while with his concussion. Both Smiths got hurt in yesterday's loss to Detroit. Brad Smith going on IR opens up roster spots for Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley who reportedly made the team. T.J. Heath is also reportedly among the cuts which does seem to open up room for the Bills to add a corner from the waiver wire or via a trade. Kolb going on IR leaves the team extremely young at quarterback with the two rookies and Thad Lewis. Depth Chart.

Bills Reached Extension With Wood: Finally some good news, The Bills have announced that they have reached an agreement on a contract extension with Eric Wood. This is not a surprise as there have been contract talks for a while now and getting a deal done before the season starts make sense. Wood told the media that he never wanted to leave Buffalo and loves the blue collar town and its food. He says he would have hated to leave and have the team make the playoffs without him. This move does open up the door for the franchise tag to be slapped on Jairus Byrd again next year with Wood of the market.

Butler, Scott Reportedly Surprise Cut: The Bills have until 6pm tomorrow to get their roster from 75 to 53 but their are several reports of a few players that have been reportedly let go. The biggest names being bantered around are Bryan Scott and Crezdon Butler. Scott got a lot of playing time last night and played well while Butler was challenging for a starting job but struggled mightily in the game. Other names reportedly cut thanks to media reports or twitter are Keith Pough, Zebrie Sanders, Dorin Dickerson, and Matt Leinart. None of those are a surprise especially how bad Leinart was last night. The team has not announced any cuts yet. Front Office Page.

Bills Blown Out By Lions 35-13: It was a big jolt of reality as the Bills were blown out at home in their preseason finale 35-13 by the Lions. The depth is definitely a concern as Doug Marrone admitted after the rout. The Bills started almost all backups and they struggled mightily. Detroit scored five first half touchdowns, three of them came after the Bills turned the ball over deep in their own territory. Offensively, the Bills got nothing going for a second straight week.

Who Helped Themselves: Not many players, if any, really helped their case in the debacle at the Ralph. Marcus Dowtin looked good with a sack and a QB pressure but there wasn't too much else to talk about. Thaddeus Lewis made a big play with a 79 yard touchdown pass late in the game to Marcus Easley helping both players causes. Lewis didn't do much more through the air finishing 7 of 16 for 132 yards and no interceptions. He did run for 51 yards on 7 carries.

Who Hurt Themselves: The secondary is in real trouble without Stephon Gilmore they just were burned on way too many occassions. Crezdon Butler was beaten for a long pass and a touchdown on the same drive. T.J. Heath was beaten for a score. Justin Rogers did not play as Doug Marrone wanted to see what the other guys could do and they all struggled. Duke Williams was constantly out of position and late on downfield passes. Matt Leinart got the start and was downright awful completing just 3 of 10 passes for 11 yards and two interceptions.

Legursky Hurt In Loss: Doug Legursky suffered a left knee injury when it was rolled up on late in the third quarter. He was carted off and it looks to be a major injury. Brad Smith left with a rib injury and was being evaluated for a contusion, bruise, or a break. Marquise Goodwin came off after being poked in the eye neither wide receiver returned but Goodwin should be ok it was just a scratch in the eye. It was a rough night for the receiving corps as Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley each got banged up but returned. Drew Smith also went off with an undisclosed injury. Off the field, Jairus Byrd was not at the game as he was getting a sore foot looked at by renowed foot specialist Dr. Anderson. Injury Page.

Thursday August 29, 2013

Leinart To Start: Matt Leinart and Thaddeus Lewis will get plenty of reps to make this team as Lenart will start and Lewis will finish. Jeff Tuel will not play. In other QB news, EJ Manuel was on the field before the game throwing passes and moving around without a limp but not moving too much. It is pretty much all backups starting for the Bills as the battle for roster spots will be front and center. Tashard Choice is starting at running back. The only starters on defense are Nigel Bradham and if you consider Crezdon Butler a starter.

Final Tuneup: One more game before the regular season gets underway as the Bills face the Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium tonight. The key will be to not suffer anymore injuries while getting a good look at the players that are on the bubble. Look for Jeff Tuel to only play a series or two so they don't get their third quarterback hurt in three weeks. Matt Leinart and Thaddeus Lewis should see a lot of time as they look to see who will best serve as the backup for the opener if EJ Manuel can't go. Look for the backup running backs to get a good look as the final battle for the third spot takes place. Also the battle for backup wide receiver spots will be interesting to watch as will be the play of the corners who are battling to replace Stephon Gilmore.

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Tuesday August 27, 2013

Manuel Working Hard: Doug Marrone said today that EJ Manuel is going 100mph as he works to get back on the field. He is doing work with trainers on the field and keeps telling Marrone he's ready to go but the coach says he's not. Manuel is taking mental reps like he will start on Thursday night against Detroit. The coach hasn't decided if Matt Leinart or Jeff Tuel will start against the Lions but he wants to be smart about it as the fourth preseason game is usually the least important for starters. The coach also gave insight on what it would take for Manuel to get back in the lineup saying he is more likely to play on Sunday if he can practice earlier in the week rather than later in the week so he can get more reps.

Spiller Back Sunday: Doug Marrone spoke to the media after practice today and said that C.J. Spiller will return to Buffalo on Sunday and rejoin the team. He is with his family in Florida to deal with the tragedy where his step grandfather killed two people, shot two others before killing himself. Spiller will obviously miss the final preseason game Thursday night against Detroit which isn't an issue since he likely wouldn't have played anyway. He got spiked in the knee on Saturday against Washington so he likely would have been rested for the opener anyway.

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Monday August 26, 2013

Hairston Done: The Bills have placed Chris Hairston on the reserve/non-football list ending his season. He was on the active/PUP list but showed no signs of getting closer to playing. He had been battling ankle and foot problems since last season. The team also reached an injury settlement with Keith Williams and he is now officially waived.

Byrd Unhappy: Jairus Byrd held a 10 minute press conference after practice today and seemed unhappy and bitter over how things went down with his contract situation. He indicated he was hurt by the team over the business side of the sport but it is hard not to take it personally. He feels he will be back in Buffalo next year since they can use the tag again on him but it did sound like he has moved on mentally from the team. He would not confirm or deny if he requested a trade referring those questions to the Bills front office. He was a bit disappointed that the team franchised him in the first place. He said he has to focus on football right now deflecting a questions regarding his long term future with the team. He said he does not know how long it will take to get him ready to play. He kept referring to the team as his team or their team as he obviously doesn't feel part of the team. He says he is trying to learn everybody and get acclimated. He did say he wants to get onboard and help in anyway that he can and he doesn't want to be a distraction.

It's Officially Tuel Time: How did we get to this point? Doug Marrone said after practice today that the plan right now is for Jeff Tuel to start opening day against the Patriots but they do hope to have EJ Manuel back for it as well. The coach confirmed Stephon Gilmore has a broken wrist and will require surgery. He said he will be out 6-8 weeks and they won't think about designating him for the IR return spot since they think he will be back earlier. Marrone also said that there has been no talk that Kevin Kolb's concussion is career ending but he will be out a while. On the players released, Marrone said they have better players on the roster right now. C.J. Spiller has been excused for personal reasons and the team's prayers go out to him, his family, and the victims.

Newest Bills On The Field: The two new quarterbacks are on the field today for practice. No sign of Kevin Kolb, EJ Manuel, Stephon Gilmore, or C.J. Spiller. Gilmore is reportedly out for a long while, Spiller is most likely out for personal reasons as he deals with his family tragedy but did bang his knee against Washington. Jairus Byrd is in uniform.

Gilmore Reportedly Out 8 Weeks: Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports is reporting that Stephon Gilmore will miss eight weeks with the wrist/hand injury suffered in the loss to the Redskins. He will have a procedure on it and the hope is he will only miss five or six games. This is a devastating blow for the Bills as he was playing extremely well and developing into a shutdown corner. What makes it worse as nobody has performed well in the number two corner spot so now they have huge holes at both spots in the secondary. Injury Page.

Bills Release Five: The Bills got a jump on the roster cuts that are due tomorrow as they got the roster down to 76 players meaning one more roster move needs to be made by 4pm tomorrow. They let go five players headlined by WR Da'Rick Rogers. He came as an undrafted free agent with a ton of potential but just wasn't mentally prepared. Also released were WR DeMarco Sampson, C Ryan Turley, DBs Dominique Ellis, and Jamal Rolle. Front Office Page.

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