2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things we know about Bills, Lions from preseason

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:15

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The only encouraging news to come out of the Buffalo Bills' preseason finale occurred about 90 minutes before the opening kickoff.

That's when rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, tested his injured left knee by throwing numerous passes to several teammates and coaches.

Otherwise, what followed was a meltdown for the Bills (2-2), who unraveled in a 35-13 loss to the Detroit Lions (3-1) on Thursday.

Matt Leinart struggled in his Bills' debut, going 3 of 10 for 11 yards passing before being yanked after the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner threw his second interception. Just as bad, coach Doug Marrone announced after the game that two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd traveled to North Carolina to see a specialist after complaining about a previously undisclosed foot injury.

Quarterback remains Buffalo's most pressing need. If Manuel's not ready to practice by Wednesday, the Bills are prepared to have undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel open the season against New England on Sept. 8.

The Lions, by comparison, rested most of their starters, and watched their backups make quick work of another AFC East opponent a week after a 40-9 rout of New England.

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Here are five things we know about the Lions from the preseason:

WHERE'S ZIGGY? The Lions remain tight-lipped on the status of rookie first-round pick, defensive end Ezekiel ``Ziggy'' Ansah. Coach Jim Schwartz said Ansah didn't travel with the team because he was hurt, but wouldn't provide any details on the nature of the injury. Ansah is believed to have hurt his head after colliding with offensive lineman Leroy Harris in practice Saturday. ``He was one of three guys that didn't travel. The guys that didn't travel, we thought it best to leave them home,'' Schwartz said. When pressed further, he added: ``I'm not going to comment anywhere else.''

DOMINANT D: Even without Ansah, Ndamukong Suh and other defensive regulars, the defense continued to create turnovers. After forcing four turnovers against New England, Detroit picked up three against Buffalo to finish the preseason with nine (four interceptions). They also added two sacks for a total of nine this preseason.

DROPSIES: With receivers Calvin Johnson and Ryan Broyles sitting out, Nate Burleson and Patrick Edwards failed to shore up Detroit's depth at the position. Burleson dropped an easy pass from starter Matthew Stafford, and also had one go off his hands that ended up an interception. Edwards dropped two passes, but did make up for it with an 8-yard TD catch from backup Shaun Hill to open the scoring.

BENTLEY AND SLAY: Backup cornerbacks Bill Bentley and rookie second-round pick Darius Slay had solid outings. Slay made a solid play in breaking up Leinart's pass up the left sideline intended for speedster Marquise Goodwin on the Bills' first play from scrimmage. Bentley had the Lions first interception, stepping in front of Leinart's pass over the middle to set up the game-opening TD.

O-LINE SET? Schwartz still isn't ready to name his starters at right guard and right tackle, but said he's encouraged by how the competition has gone. ``When it's all said and done, the entire body of work is what we'll evaluate,'' Schwartz said. ``We'll be fine at both those positions.'' Tackle Jake Scott, a free-agent addition, and rookie guard Larry Warford both started their second consecutive games.

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And five things we know about the Bills:

OFF-LINE LEINART: Leinart's debut in Buffalo lasted a little more than a quarter. And that's left him worried whether his future with the quarterback-needy Bills will last past Saturday, when the team makes its final cuts. ``It's disappointing,'' Leinart said. ``I was thankful to be here, and we'll see what happens. Obviously, after that performance it can't be anything good I would think. But we'll see.''

A THAD BETTER: While Leinart struggled, newly acquired quarterback Thaddeus Lewis had a comparatively better outing. Acquired Sunday in a trade with the Lions, Lewis finished 7 of 16 for 132 yards, including a 79-yard TD pass to Marcus Easley in the fourth quarter. Lewis also had seven carries for 51 yards.

NO DB DEPTH: With Byrd's status uncertain and starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore (broken wrist) to miss six to eight weeks, the Bills are lacking capable replacements. Cornerbacks Crezdon Butler and T.J. Heath, and rookie safety Duke Williams were burned several times on Thursday.

LOSING LEGURSKY: The Bills signed free agent Doug Legursky to compete for the starting job at left guard. That competition appears to be over after Legursky was carted off the field in the third quarter after sustaining what Marrone feared was a ``major'' injury.

FIRST-DOWN DROUGHT: When RB Tashard Choice scrambled off left tackle for 7 yards to convert a 2nd-and-7 on Buffalo's third possession, it ended a stretch of nine straight drives that ended with three-and-outs. The first-down drought dated to the second quarter of the Bills' 30-7 loss at Washington on Saturday.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dwayne AllenNov 23 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) is inactive Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Trent WilliamsNov 23 12:32p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (ankle, knee) is not expected to play in Week 12 because of his injuries.

Danny LansanahNov 23 12:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah is moving from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker in place of LB Lavonte David (hamstring). LB Orie Lemon will start at strongside linebacker.

Greg JenningsNov 23 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) is active for the team's Week 12 game.

Blidi Wreh-WilsonNov 23 11:52a

The Tennessee Titans have declared CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Kris Durham, CB Marqueston Huff, TE Richard Gordon, DL Ropati Pitoitua, OT Will Svitek inactive for Week 12.

Arian FosterNov 23 11:42a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Kareem Jackson, LB Max Bullough, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 12.

Andre BranchNov 23 11:42a

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, LB Jeremiah George, WR Mike Brown, OT Sam Young, RB Storm Johnson, CB Teddy Williams, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 12.

Crezdon ButlerNov 23 11:42a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared CB C.J. X. Wilson, CB Crezdon Butler, DL Da'Quan Bowers, OT Kevin Pamphile, LB Lavonte David, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron inactive for Week 12.

Jordan CameronNov 23 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared TE Jordan Cameron, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Marlon Moore, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 12.

Rex BurkheadNov 23 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared CB Chris Lewis-Harris, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, WR Greg Little, DL Margus Hunt, RB Rex Burkhead, OT Tanner Hawkinson, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 12.

Dwayne AllenNov 23 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared TE Dwayne Allen, OT Gosder Cherilus, CB Greg Toler, DL Kelcy Quarles, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis, NT Zachariah Kerr inactive for Week 12.

Arian FosterNov 23 11:33a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is out Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Brandon WattsNov 23 11:32a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared OT Austin Wentworth, LB Brandon Watts, OG David Yankey, RB Matt Asiata, LB Michael Mauti, DL Sharrif Floyd, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 12.

Dennis KellyNov 23 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 23 11:22a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not receive a fine or suspension for pleading guilty to driving under the influence charge in North Carolina, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 23 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) was not spotted during early warmups Sunday, Nov. 23, and he's unlikely to play in Week 12.

Lavonte DavidNov 23 10:52a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David (hamstring) will miss the first game of his career Sunday, Nov. 23, as he's out for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 23 10:32a

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) 'needs a miracle' to play Sunday, Nov. 23, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIINov 23 10:12a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's point of emphasis is to get the ball out quickly Sunday, Nov. 23. Head coach Jay Gruden has dumbed down the offense to [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 23 10:02a

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is unlikely to play Sunday, Nov. 23, in Week 12.

Ben TateNov 23 09:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Ben Tate will be active Sunday, Nov. 23, and have a role in Week 12. RB Matt Asiata will be inactive.

Lamar MillerNov 23 09:52a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder, knee) will play Sunday, Nov. 23, according to a source.

Josh GordonNov 23 09:22a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to play 20-30 snaps Sunday, Nov. 23.

Jonas GrayNov 23 09:22a

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray will play Sunday, Nov. 23, after being late to practice Friday, Nov. 21. He'll split carries with RB LeGarrette Blount in Week 12.

Reggie BushNov 22 05:32p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is likely out for Week 12 and is targeting the Thanksgiving Day game Thursday, Nov. 27, to return.

Marcel ReeceNov 22 04:42p

Oakland Raiders FB Marcel Reece earned more carries after his performance in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 20. Reece rushed for 46 yards during a crucial 17-play, 80-yard drive late [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 22 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is highly unlikely to suit up Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 22 01:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was officially activated from the exempt/commissioner permission list Saturday, Nov. 22. In a subsequent move, the team waived LB Keith Pough.

A.J. JenkinsNov 22 12:42p

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

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