Bills Beaten Up In Pittsburgh
Gameday Grades: It was an anemic effort offensively for the Bills as the Steelers played inspired defense which led to the worst game of the season for the Bills in their 23-10 loss to the Steelers. The offense didn't do anything until the final garbage time drive. The defense played a bit better but gave up way too many big plays. Gameday Grades.
Bills Blitz: It was not a triumphant return to the lineup for EJ Manuel. It was anything but that as Manuel struggled with his accuracy all game long in a 23-10 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Manuel struggled to shake the rust off after missing four games with a sprained LCL. The Bills were held to 227 yards on offense and that number is inflated by an 80 yard garbage time drive to a last second meaningless two yard touchdown pass to rookie Chris Gragg. The Steelers defense played inspired ball after having the worst defensive effort in franchise history last week in New England. The Bills got a field goal after a Jairus Byrd 57 yard interception return to take a 3-0 lead but it was all Pittsburgh after that. Ben Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 5 yard score and Le'Veon Bell had a four yard scoring run while Shaun Suisham hit three field goals in windy conditions at Heinz Field. Bills Blitz.
Johnson Leaves Early: Stevie Johnson left the game with a groin injury. He walked to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter under his own power. Chris Hogan left the game in the final minute when he got shaken up and had concussion like symptoms. Da'Norris Searcy left after his hamstring tightened up. Aaron Williams went out of the game briefly in the 2nd quarter with an ankle injury but was quick to return. Injury Page.
Woods Inactive: As expected Robert Woods is inactive with his ankle injury. He made the trip to Pittsburgh but he just wasn't ready to play after missing practice all week. He is the only injured inactive as EJ Manuel will get the start and Thad Lewis also returns from injuries. Jeff Tuel is inactive as he is now number three on the quarterback depth chart. The other healthy scratches are: Justin Rogers, Antoine McClain, Ty Powell, Ronnie Wingo, and Brandon Smith.
Nice Fall Football Weather: It should be nice for today's game in Pittsburgh as the game will be played under partly cloudy skies with a gametime temperature of 45°. Wind could be a factor as it will be out of the West Northwest at 19mph.
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Saturday November 9, 2013
Lawson Makes Trip: Manny Lawson made the short trip to Pittsburgh with the team. Since he was sidelined because of personal reasons and not an injury it makes sense to think he will play tomorrow.
Friday November 8, 2013
Lawson Questionable: Manny Lawson missed practice today for personal reasons and is questionable for the game Sunday. Doug Marrone said he doesn't know much more only that he excused him from today's workout and will talk to him later on. EJ Manuel is good to go and is officially listed as probable along with Thad Lewis, Marquise Goodwin, and Kyle Williams. Goodwin practiced fully today after being limited yesterday. Robert Woods is doubtful but will travel with the team. Injury Page.
Smith Released: The Bills announced they have released WR Brad Smith. He has been on injured reserve with a rib injury suffered in the preseason finale. He's reportedly healthy and will be able to sign with any other team. Front Office Page.
Thursday November 7, 2013
Manuel To Start: Doug Marrone said today that EJ Manuel is on target to start at quarterback on Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was not sore today after practicing fully yesterday and he practiced fully again today. Thad Lewis will back him up. The coach also feels good about the availability of Marquise Goodwin for the game after he practiced on a limited basis today. He still doesn't feel good about Robert Woods who did not practice again today with an ankle injury. He will make the trip to Pittsburgh though. Injury Page.
Goodwin Practicing: As expected Marquise Goodwin is on the practice field today and likely practicing on a limited basis. According to Mark Gaughan he looks pretty well moving around on the field. He suffered a hamstring injury late in Sunday's loss. Robert Woods is not on the field and it looks pretty unlikely that he will suit up this week. Injury Page.
Steelers Preview: The Bills head to Pittsburgh to take on a struggling Steelers team this week. This could be the last stand for both of these teams with the losing team's playoff hopes all but officially dashed. EJ Manuel should be back under center for the Bills after missing four games with a sprained LCL. Pittsburgh hasn't lost to a rookie quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger at QB since 2004. Game Preview.
Wednesday November 6, 2013
No Starter Named: EJ Manuel took the majority of the reps in practice today with Thad Lewis taking the second team reps. Doug Marrone is taking a wait and see approach and will not name a starter yet. Marquise Goodwin, Robert Woods, and Kyle Williams did not practice. Gooodwin hurt his hamstring and Woods injured his ankle in the loss to the Chiefs. Williams has been getting most Wednesdays off this season. Coach Marrone doesn't feel good about Wood's chances of playing on Sunday. The coach also said that the ankle injury is behind C.J. Spiller and he's no longer on the injury report. Injury Page.
Manuel Should Play: While Doug Marrone was non-committal about playing EJ Manuel on Sunday, Russ Brandon was a bit more candid on WGR this morning. He said on his weekly radio show that unless there is a setback Manuel will be out there on Sunday. We should know more after practice today.
Tuesday November 5, 2013
Another Near Win: The Bills had another close call but like so many times it was another loss against Kansas City. Tony Bogyo examines how this team continues to find ways to lose even when the numbers show they should have won against the Chiefs. Complete Story.
Monday November 4, 2013
Lewis Should Be Ready: Doug Marrone said Thad Lewis threw passes today and he should be ready for the Steelers game. The question is who will start? The coach maintained it will be the coaching staff's call on if EJ Manuel is ready to start on Sunday. They will evaluate his dropbacks, push offs, planting and driving before making a decision. The coach also said he won't really know until Wednesday more about the injuries to two of his wide receivers yesterday. Marquise Goodwin suffered a hamstring injury and Robert Woods has an ankle injury. Both players will rest their injuries today and tomorrow and he will see where they are when they practice on Wednesday. C.J. Spiller felt good after his most extensive outing in over a month. Injury Page.
Bills Release Flynn: In a move that surprises nobody, now that EJ Manuel is healthy the team has no need for Matt Flynn and he has been released. The writing was on the wall when Flynn didn't overtake Jeff Tuel for the right to backup Thad Lewis. The Bills used the roster spot by signing fullback Evan Rodriguez. He is expected to help in the H-back role and can help at fullback and tight end. He was a fourth round pick of the Bears last year and had four catches for 21 yards in 12 games. He was released after two alcohol related arrests. Front Office Page.
Manuel Cleared: Some good news on the injury front today for the Bills. EJ Manuel has been cleared by doctors to play. His playing status for the game against Pittsburgh will be determined by the coaching staff. You would have to think that if he can practice fully at least part of the week then he will be under center against the Steelers on Sunday. Injury Page.
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