Bills Get Roster To 53 For Start Of Season
Brown Unhappy: Travis Brown was unhappy and shocked that the team place him on injured reserve. He suffered an MCL sprain to his knee in the third preseason game and was only suppose to miss 4-6 weeks. This move ends his season and will most likely keep Shane Matthews on the active roster all year. Tom Donahoe said on Monday that the team would carry four quarterbacks and not IR Brown or the other injured QB, J.P. Losman. Brown shot down thoughts that the team would reach an injury settlement with him and then re-sign him, something they did last year. He doesn't expect to play for the Bills again. This move may have reprucussion. Drew Bledsoe was adamant after the injury of keeping Brown around since he was so valuable to him in meetings and on the sidelines during games. Take our poll on the homepage to let us know what you think of the move by management.
Bills Get Down To 53: The Bills got their roster down to 53 players today by releasing 14 players and placing Travis Brown on the reserved/injured list. The players cut are: LB/DE Jason Gildon, DE Keith McKenzie, RB Ken Simonton, CB Gerald Dixon, OL Jasen Esposito, WR Jonathan Smith and Drew Haddad, FB Luke Lawton, DT Lauvale Sape, LB Dominique Stevenson, OL Marques Sullivan and Ben Sobieski, TE Rod Trafford, and QB Greg Zolman. Sobieski, Sullivan, Stevenson are all mild suprise cuts while the big name cut was Gildon.
Saturday September 4, 2004
Spikes Held Out: Takeo Spikes was held out of yesterday's light workout with a sore back. He should be fine for next week as the team begins to prepare for the opener against Jacksonville. Terrence McGee and Joe Burns returned to practice on Friday. Angelo Crowell did some warmup exercises but did not practice. The players have the weekend off before beginning the regular season routine on Monday. Injury Page.
Tough Cuts Ahead: The Bills have until 4pm tomorrow to cut 15 players. If you take a look at our depth chart some of the cuts are easy, some will be really hard. The good news is, each team gets to make an 8 player practice squad this year, up from five. That squad will be established on Monday after released players clear waiver. Players are only eligible for the squad if they've played less than three game on the active roster. Among bubble players on offense are Joe Burns, Ken Simonton, Jonathan Smith, Tim Euhus, Rod Trafford, Mike Pucillo, Marques Sullivan, and Luke Lawton. On defense the bubble players include Jason Gildon, Keith McKenzie, Justin Bannan, Lauvale Sape, Angelo Crowell, Mario Haggan, Pierson Prioleau, and Jabari Greer. Many teams that played Thursday night have already made their cuts, look for the Bills to make theirs soon also.
Friday September 3, 2004
No New Injuries: As we reported yesterday, there were no new injuries in the loss to the Lions. Missing the game were Terrence McGee, Joe Burns, Angelo Crowell, Lawyer Milloy, Travis Brown, and J.P. Losman. Brown, Milloy, and Losman are out indefinitely while McGee, Burns, and Crowell are nursing various ailments. Injury Page.
OL Plays Well: The starting offensive line played together for the only time this preseason. They performed well, giving Drew Bledsoe lots of time to throw during the opening touchdown drive and doing a good job in run blocking also. This should give them some confidence heading into the season.
McGahee Not Ready: One thing the two starts Willis McGahee had showed was that he isn't ready for full time duty. This should put the RB controversy talks to rest. He ran well early but finished with just 24 yards on 11 carries and for the first time his knee seemed to bother him at one point. He did show a nose for the end zone once again and he will prove valuable off the bench as he rounds himself back into playing shape.
Players Who Helped Themselves: Despite the loss, many players helped themselves. As we reported last night, Shane Matthews and Drew Bledsoe shined as both executed long touchdown drives. The drive by Bledsoe was just what the doctor ordered for the first unit offense. Drew Haddad made his case to make the team with three catches for 61 yards.
#3 RB Battle Heated: The battle for the third running back spot heated up last night. With Joe Burns sidelined with the re-aggravated high ankle sprain, the battle between Ken Simonton and undrafted free agent Shaud Williams took center stage last night. Neither player disappointed as they both played well. Coach Mularkey rotated them in and out in the second half as it was an audition to see which one would make this team. Williams carried 18 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. Simonton had only 10 carries but gained 44 yards as both backs were well over four yards a carry average.
Penalties A Concern: The big concern coming out of the loss was the alarming amount of penalties. The team was called for a whopping 17 penalties for 122 yards. Coach Mularkey said after the game that he thinks most of those calls are correctable. Still, it is a major concern when you have that many penalties in the final preseason game. Other than the penalties nobody really hurt their chances in the loss. Sam Aiken didn't help his cause by being called for three penalties on special teams but his 51 yard reception set up a touchdown.
Thursday September 2, 2004
Bills Lose To Lions: The Bills wrapped up the preseason with a 20-17 loss to the Lions. The news was more good than bad however as the starting offense opened the game with a 16 play, 90 yard touchdown drive. Willis McGahee ran it in from two yards out for the score. Drew Bledsoe was 4 for 6 on the drive for 62 yards and called it a night. Shane Matthews came in second at quarterback and led the team on two scoring drives. A Rian Lindell field goal in the second quarter and a 93 yard drive in 9 plays to Shaud Williams' four yard touchdown. Matthews was very impressive for a player that has only been on the team for two days. He was 7 of 10 for 104 yards. More good news for the Bills, they seemed to come out of the game injury free. We will have much more on the loss throughout the day on Friday.
Bills Face Lions Tonight: The Bills have their final tuneup before the regular season begins tonight in Detroit against the Lions at 7pm. The starting offense, with the exception of the offensive line, will only work a series or two as will most defensive starters. The offensive line is finally healthy with all five starters ready to go. They will see more action than the rest of the starters to get some cohesiveness. Lawrence Smith has won the starting left guard spot and will be joined by the all other starters for the first game this preseason. All five starters also practiced together Monday and Tuesday this week. The team will fly back to Buffalo and practice tomorrow before getting the weekend off. They begin their regular season routine on Labor Day.
Wednesday September 1, 2004
QB Rotation: Coach Mularkey would not give details on his quarterback rotation for tomorrow night's preseason game against Detroit. As we reported earlier, Drew Bledsoe will see action in only the first series or two. That is customary in the final preseason game. Greg Zolman will see substanial action after Bledsoe, Mularkey indicated. Shane Matthews is suppose to play a few series near the end of the contest.
Tuesday August 31, 2004
Bills Cut 11: The Bills made 11 cuts today leaving their roster at 68 players. They have three roster exemptions for NFL Europe, so they are at the league limit. The biggest name among the cuts was WR/KR Antonio Brown. Also released were WRs Jerel Myers and Kevin Beard, S Mark Graham, CB Johnny Lamar, TE Jason Peters, OT David Porter, CB Lawrence Richardson, OL Richard Seals, K/P Mike Shafer, and LB Darryl Towns. Among the other cuts, the big name literally, is Jason Peters. He is definitely a candidate for the practice squad. His release still leaves the team with four tight ends. The other cuts were just camp fodder.
Henry Out Thursday: The Bills have decided to be cautious and will hold Travis Henry out of Thursday night's preseason finale to rest his bruised ribs. He did practice on a limited basis on Monday. Jonas Jennings returned to practice on Monday and will play Thursday. He may get extra reps during the game then the rest of the starters who are only suppose to play a couple of series. In other injury news, Terrence McGee continues to be out with his leg contusion and Joe Burns is back on the sidelines after aggravating his high ankle sprain. Injury Page.
A Look At The Bills: Our featured columnist Tony Bogyo is back and well rested. He gives us his preseason look at the 2004 Bills. As you would expect his views mirrors many fans as he is concerned about the team thanks to the performance in Indy on Saturday night. Complete Story.
Monday August 30, 2004
Bills Sign Matthews: The Bills announced this evening that they have signed Shane Matthews. He immediately becomes the number two quarterback at this time. He is a 10 year veteran who has 22 career starts in stints with Chicago, Washington, and Cincinnati.
Matthews Visit: As we reported earlier, Shane Matthews may be the frontrunner for backup quarterback spot. He was interviewed by the team today. Tom Donahoe said a decision on who to sign should be made by the end of the day. Besides Matthews, other possibilities include Doug Johnson, who was released by Jacksonville, Akili Smith, and dare we say... Rob Johnson.
Losman Will Not Go On IR: J.P. Losman will not go on IR. Tom Donahoe confirmed that the team will leave him on the 53 man roster so he will be available to practice when he is healthy which could come before the midpoint of the season. He is expected to miss 8-12 weeks.
Milloy Out Indefinitely: The Bills confirmed what we reported yesterday, that Lawyer Milloy underwent successful surgery on his broken forearm yesterday. The Bills still won't put a timetable on his return and haven't ruled him out of the opener. They do say however that he is out indefinitely. Traditionally this type of injury requires about six weeks to heal. He is definitely not lost for the season and will not be placed on injured reserve.
Brown Injury Not Season Ending: The Bills got some good news regarding the injury to Travis Brown. The MRI he had yesterday revealed that he sprained the MCL in his left knee. This is a much less serious injury than originally feared. Most people thought he had the dreaded ACL tear. He is expected to miss about six weeks. The team will still need a veteran backup quarterback while Brown and J.P. Losman heal. The early frontrunner according to ESPN.com is veteran journeyman Shane Matthews. Injury Page.
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