Tag Archives: Buffalo Bills

We’re back for the second half in Pittsburgh.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (48.4 percent): Although it’s not official yet, it feels inevitable that the Bills will go back to Taylor as the starter in Week 12. Despite not playing in the first half of Week 11, he managed 18.1 fantasy points against the Chargers (albeit in a game that was out of reach).

We’re back for the second half in Pittsburgh. The Titans will start the period’s first possession at their 25 following a touchback on the kickoff.

Pittsburgh heads into halftime leading by nine. Antonio Brown registers 88 receiving yards and a touchdown in the half to lead the Steelers. Marcus Mariota has thrown two picks so far.

Elliott is just 22, and if or when he is forced to sit out six games, the Cowboys are hoping he will continue to mature. The totality of his poor decision making — not only in the alleged domestic violence case, but also other issues, such as an alleged bar fight and the St. Patrick’s Day incident in March — perhaps played into the NFL’s suspension. If there are no repercussions, will Elliott believe he can continue to make poor choices and skate by?

Another problem for the Cowboys and the NFL: The Elliott case makes the league look bad. It keeps a domestic violence issue front and center in a season that already includes enough bad publicity.

He has promising natural talent and seems to be finding his footing in the NFL. Jones is a deeper league consideration to have as a bench player for now, with upside should his development continue like we’ve seen of late.

No, I don’t think that passes my “any chance” rule. After all, the Houston Rockets scored 90 in a half, the most in a first half in more than two decades — and still didn’t even get three-quarters of the way to 200. Part of the problem, of course, is that you’d have to find an opponent capable of scoring enough to keep the game close because teams tend to slow their scoring pace considerably in garbage time. Even with that, you’re probably going to need multiple overtimes.

From a mathematical perspective, if we take a look at the Golden State Warriors, 200 points is still 5.5 standard deviations away from their league-leading average of 117.5 points per game.
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Police officers sue Bills RB LeSean McCoy over bar fight

Two off-duty Philadelphia police officers injured in a February bar fight involving Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning against the former NFL rushing leader in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The civil lawsuit marks the latest step in a legal battle that had previously gone all the way to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office but had failed to result in any criminal charges against McCoy or anyone else.

“Our investigation has confirmed that [officers] Darnell Jessie and Roland Butler were viciously attacked and beaten by LeSean McCoy and the additional defendants. As a result of the violent assault, both men have suffered serious and permanent injuries,” said Fortunato N. Perri Jr., the attorney for the police officers involved in the fight.

McCoy’s attorney, Dennis Cogan, was not available Tuesday morning when contacted for a comment.

The lawsuit, obtained by Outside the Lines, names McCoy and three other members of his party: Curtis Brinkley, Tamarcus Porter and Christopher Henderson, all of whom were inside the Recess Lounge, a Philadelphia after-hours club, on Feb. 7.

The Recess Lounge also is named as a defendant. Officers Jessie and Butler allege the club was negligent in failing to provide adequate security and for continuing to serve alcohol to McCoy, Brinkley, Porter and Henderson, “who were already visibly intoxicated.”

Cogan told ESPN in July that McCoy was only trying to break up a fight between the officers and his friends, who had started arguing over a $350 bottle of champagne.

“Frankly, McCoy did nothing wrong. He was put through hell for no reason,” Cogan said at the time.

Police also have said the fight broke out over a misunderstanding about who had purchased the bottle of champagne.

McCoy, 28, is in his second season with the Bills after playing six years with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Justin Forsett says he’s still Ravens’ starting RB after ‘trial separation’

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett said he will start in Sunday’s opener against the Buffalo Bills after coming back from what he humorously described as a trial separation.

Forsett, the Ravens’ leading rusher the past two seasons, confirmed Wednesday that his brief release from the team was part of a roster maneuver and said he has returned to his spot with the first-team offense.

“I’ll be lining up there as the starter as of now,” Forsett said. “It’s my job to go out there and try to dominate and make it clear for them.”

“I tried not to follow it, just because it was everywhere for so long,” Palmer said on a conference call with Patriots reporters. “I go back and you follow what the rule book says and you go about your business and you work, and if they tell you not to do it and then you get busted, and what happens happens, then you suffer the consequences.

Palmer and the Cardinals host the Patriots on Sunday night in the season-opening game for both teams. Jimmy Garoppolo will start at quarterback for the Patriots, with Brady serving a four-game NFL suspension as part of Deflategate penalties.

When Palmer was asked on the conference call if it was his perception that rules were broken, he said, “I don’t know, to be honest. Supposedly the balls went somewhere when they weren’t supposed to go there. There was humidity, or not enough humidity, or altitude or whatever it was. I don’t know. I didn’t follow the story. As soon as it came on, I just turned it off because I was so sick of hearing about it.

“Whatever the league comes down upon, and whatever ruling they make is what they make. You don’t have much of a decision after that. You can fight it for a little bit, but after a while, you just have to abide by what they say.”

Mularkey said he’s pleased with Henry’s work.

The fragile relationship between police and African-Americans is in deep crisis, anecdotally and statistically, and when Kaepernick expressed his awakening by refusing to stand for the national anthem, he and any peers considering similarly expressing themselves learned how society will respond to their citizenship and dissent: by using a playbook of distortion and misdirection as old and predictable as the Packer sweep.

Trevor Siemian named as Broncos’ starting QB

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Trevor Siemian will start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the Sept. 8 season opener against the Carolina Panthers, coach Gary Kubiak announced in a team meeting Monday morning.

Kubiak made the announcement just before the players broke off into position-group meetings.

“I think he’s earned the right to be our guy,” Kubiak said. “I go back and look at the body of work throughout the course of the offseason, watch training camp, throughout the preseason, how far he’s come. I watch how much he’s improved in my opinion, the grasp that he has with what we’re doing, to me he’s earned the right to go out there and be our starter.”

It is the next step in Siemian’s staggering offseason journey. The 2015 seventh-round pick — whose lone snap on the field last season was a kneel-down just before halftime in the Broncos’ Dec. 20 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers — will now succeed Peyton Manning.

The last time Siemian started a game, it was for Northwestern on Nov. 22, 2014 at Purdue.

“I need to get my ass out there on that field,” Ebron said Monday in his first comments since suffering a right ankle injury Aug. 6. “‘Cause I’m not a huge person that’s [into] watching. I like action. I like to be in action. It just sucks being on the sideline, man. It’s not my lifestyle. I wasn’t born for this. I wasn’t bred to do this, but I got to right now.”

Ebron said he and the Lions are taking things slowly as he recovers. That includes Ebron likely not playing in the preseason finale Thursday against the Buffalo Bills. Asked whether he would be out there in a game primarily used for backups and those trying to make one last roster push, he said, “Is Matt [Stafford] going to play on Thursday? You ain’t going to see Ebron if you don’t see Matt Stafford.”

The Panthers had been trying to hold Scifres out as he rehabbed offseason surgery on his left knee.

The Browns traded Lee three days after coach Hue Jackson jumped the 13-year veteran on the sideline for a lack of effort on trying to stop a return that went 73 yards for a touchdown.

“[It was] his pursuit. Let’s be very honest,” Jackson said after the game. “We’re out there to play. If there’s another guy that has the ball, your job is to go get it. The second time [on a long return] he did that, so that was improvement.

“That’s something to build on. The first time he understood in his conversation with me that’s not how we pursue it, and he made amends for that. So on we go.”

On Monday, the Browns moved on from Lee. And the Panthers found a huge missing piece to a puzzle they hope will result in a second straight trip to the Super Bowl.

Lee ranks sixth in the NFL all time in gross punting average (46.2 yards), eighth all time in net average (39.5) and ninth all time for punts inside the 20 (325).

He set Browns single-season records with a 46.7-yard gross average and 40.1-yard net average in 2015.

In 2011, Lee recorded the NFL’s second-best single-season net punting average (44.0). In 2007, he had 42 punts inside the 20, tied for third-best season in NFL history.

Lee also has ties to the Carolinas, growing up in Westminster, South Carolina, before playing collegiately at Pittsburgh.

We could be watching the greatest class of defenders … ever

The NFL can seem like a world dominated by quarterbacks, but did you notice who won the Super Bowl last season? It was the Broncos, who had Peyton Manning in name alone; the future Hall of Famer threw nearly twice as many interceptions (17) as touchdowns (nine). The Broncos were led to that Super Bowl by their defense, which dominated the regular season and held three of the league’s best offenses to a combined 44 points in the playoffs.

You can make the case that this is an offensive era. Enlightened by college football, it’s a pass-heavy league with tempo everywhere. Offenses averaged 22.8 points per game last year, the fifth-highest figure in NFL history.

But … Denver’s run to the Super Bowl with some of the league’s worst quarterback play tells us again just how impactful a team with several star defenders can be. Offenses are better-schemed and better-coached than ever, but a great defense can still rip their plan to shreds. And the class of 2011 has delivered more world-class, game-changing, opponent-destroying defenders than any other draft in 30 years.

The plan is for Cruz to be back out at practice Wednesday and to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets. It would be his first game in 22 months.

Cruz’s teammates were impressed.

“He came out, looked fresh [Tuesday],” wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said. “Again, the biggest thing is just Sept. 11. I know he would definitely like to get some preseason in. It’s been a little minute since he’s played.

“In my opinion, he looked great.”

Cruz hadn’t made it through a full practice in more than two weeks because of the groin injury. He did dress for Saturday’s preseason contest against the Buffalo Bills and ran through pregame warmups.

There were more positive signs at Tuesday’s practice, when Cruz mostly worked alongside Beckham and Sterling Shepard as the first-team receivers. He caught all his passes from quarterback Eli Manning.

There was one play in particular where he shot off the line and made a quick juke to the inside to beat cornerback Donte Deayon. It opened some eyes.

“He’s quick,” said Deayon, an undrafted rookie out of Boise State. “I didn’t think he’d be that quick off the line right now. But he came off the line real quick and he got me. … He shook and he shot across the field. He has his step back, he’s quick and he’s a veteran, so he knows his game.”

U.S. Bank Stadium will elicit oohs and aahs, but at first, maybe some sighs

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to make his preseason debut Friday at the Washington Redskins, coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday.

Using the light rail was a sticking point for many of you who went to the initial events, and there figures to be plenty of foot traffic going to and from the light rail platform. Metro Transit will release its plans for Vikings game later this week, and it also plans to provide buses to several light rail stops other than the one outside the stadium. The Vikings app also has information on how to use Metro Transit on game days. Should you want to wait out the crowds somewhere other than a bar, the Downtown East Commons park to the west of the stadium has alcohol-free, family-friendly events on game days.

It’s also a good idea to reacquaint yourself with the NFL’s stadium baggage policy, which limits fans to clear tote bags or one-gallon Ziploc bags inside the stadium. And while we understand the glass doors make for a good photo opp, maybe you should limit the selfies for a few weeks to help with traffic flow. Your Instagram followers will still love you.

Ryan also expects outside linebacker Manny Lawson (pectoral) to make his preseason debut Friday.

The Bills could be without wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in Friday’s game after he left Tuesday’s practice with trainers and was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Starting right tackle Jordan Mills (knee) and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman (quad contusion) also left Tuesday’s practice, putting their status for the game in doubt.

Preseason game or not, that’s impressive.

Perhaps more impressive is that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott didn’t even play in the game.

That changes Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I love him,” Dallas receiver Dez Bryant said of the Cowboys’ first-round pick. “I love the swag. He’s fierce, and I know he seems like he’s all chill and stuff, but he’s ready to get out there. He’s ready to go. He’s fired up. I’m ready to see him play. I’m ready to block for him because I know he’s going to do some amazing things for us. I’m ready to see that boy do his thing.”

Perhaps that is why Elliott has not been available for comment Sunday or Monday.

Injury roundup: Arian Foster starts camp on PUP lis

Here are other injuries we are monitoring Friday:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle) and wideout Marqise Lee (hamstring) did not take part in practice Friday. Yeldon was reportedly limping around the locker room Thursday because of an issue with new cleats. No better time than training camp to break those in.

2. Orlando Scandrick will soon head back to the field for the Dallas Cowboys, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Scandrick is coming off ACL and MCL injuries.

3. The Baltimore Ravens’ misfortune with tight ends might be continuing. Crockett Gilmore is headed for an MRI after injuring his hamstring in practice.

4. Julio Jones participated in individual drills, but sat out the rest of practice, the Atlanta Falcons announced. Coach Dan Quinn said Jones will be full-go in a day or so after suffering an undisclosed minor injury Thursday.

5. The Buffalo Bills placed wide receiver Marcus Easley, defensive end Shaq Lawson, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive tackle Kyle Williams on the PUP list. The Bills also moved linebacker Manny Lawson and wide receiver Kolby Listenbee to the non-football injury list. The team placed defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, defensive back Jonathan Dowling, offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson and running back Karlos Williams on the non-football illness list, too.

Regarding Lawson, general manager Doug Whaley told reporters the linebacker suffered an “upper body injury” while working out prior to camp. The GM said there’s no timetable for Lawson to return at the moment.

6. Denver Broncos defensive lineman Sylvester Williams will have his shoulder examined while defensive lineman Phillip Taylor will undergo an MRI on his left knee, coach Gary Kubiak announced.

7. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson left practice early with an apparent left arm injury. Coach Mike Zimmer quelled concerns about the wideout’s health after practice: “He made a great catch and it wasn’t his left hand or wrist, I can tell you that. I don’t think it’s anything concerning, but they’re taking a look at it.”

8. The Detroit Lions announced they have moved safety Don Carey and linebacker DeAndre Levy to the non-football injury list.

9. The Oakland Raiders placed running back Roy Helu on the reserve/injured list and will be releasing him.

Bengals cornerback Adam Jones couldn’t fully enjoy his offseason — not if the team’s white-knuckle playoff loss to the Steelers was on tape somewhere near by.

“We kicked they ass the whole game; that’s all I can say,” Jones said Thursday, via ESPN.com. “And it hurt me to my heart that we let it go like that.

“(But) it’s over with. It’s in the past.”

Jones added: “We’re going to be motivated anyway because we want to get out of the first round. So whoever it’ll be, when we get there, hopefully we can take out all our frustration and anger on the field, and keep it on the field and win the game. We’ll see.”

While this won’t necessarily be a popular opinion, seeing a player like Jones so driven and committed to bringing the Bengals another round deeper into the playoffs makes us appreciate head coach Marvin Lewis even more. We ask coaches to build a culture and bring along players that other coaches could not or did not, and Jones is a shining example of what Lewis was able to over his time in Cincinnati.

Nigel Bradham arrested on suspicion of assault

Bradham surrendered to Miami Beach Police on Monday after the victim and witnesses identified him via photographic lineups, according to police.

The Eagles did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bradham’s arrest.

Bradham, 26, signed a two-year deal with the Eagles in March. In 11 games with the Buffalo Bills last season, Bradham recorded 59 tackles and a sack.

Kurt Coleman, Panthers reach three-year extension

While defensive tackle Kawann Short remains at a contract impasse with the Carolina Panthers, veteran safety Kurt Coleman has landed a new deal.

The Panthers have agreed to terms with Coleman on a three-year extension, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation.

Coleman is expected to sign the new deal on Wednesday, per Rapoport.

A special teamer and part-time starter in Philadelphia and Kansas City for five NFL seasons prior to his 2015 breakout campaign in Charlotte, Coleman is emblematic of general manager Dave Gettleman’s uncanny knack for identifying under-the-radar free agents.

To the credit of head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, the Panthers have been successful with a plug-and-play approach, bringing out the full potential of journeymen in the defensive backfield.

Coleman earned the raise after a breakout season featuring seven interceptions, including a stretch of picks in four consecutive games while flashing Pro Bowl form.

With veteran Roman Harper out of the picture, Coleman is poised to take over a leadership role in Carolina’s revamped secondary.

It will be a surprise if Berry, whose franchise number is $10.806 million, accepts less than Devin McCourty got when he became the NFL’s second-highest-paid safety last offseason. McCourty took a slight hometown discount to re-sign with the New England Patriots for $47.5 million over five years. His $28.5 million in guarantees are the most ever in a veteran safety deal. A longterm deal for Berry should create around $7 million of cap room, because the Chiefs typically structure their most lucrative contracts with modest first-year cap numbers.