- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Johnson, Graham should be OK: Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson has a lumbar strain, head coach Doug Marrone said Friday. Johnson left in the second quarter of Thursday night's game and did not return. Marrone said Johnson is "already better than expected" and should be ready to play on Oct. 13 against the Bengals, following 10 days' rest. The Bills also appeared to dodge a bullet with wide receiver T.J. Graham, who briefly left the game with an apparent neck injury but later returned. Having a healthy group of receivers -- one that could also include rookie Marquise Goodwin -- will be a major factor in determining how the Bills' "interim" starting quarterback performs.
Hang time an issue with Powell: Marrone said hang time on punts hurt the Bills in their loss to the Browns, when Cleveland's Travis Benjamin returned one punt 57 yards and another 79 yards for a touchdown. "When you’re covering balls that are under four seconds, it’s very difficult to cover. It’s only a matter of time in this league before you get exposed," Marrone said Friday. Benjamin set a Browns franchise record for punt-return yardage, and the Bills released their punter, Shawn Powell, on Friday. Buffalo will have 10 days to find another punter. No word yet on whether they're interested in bringing back longtime punter Brian Moorman, who is a free agent.
Marrone explains botched challenge: The Bills were docked a timeout in the second quarter of Thursday night's game when Marrone tried to challenge a play that was nullified by an illegal-contact penalty against Buffalo. Marrone said Friday that it was "my mistake," saying that he saw an official's hat come off, signaling that Browns receiver Jordan Cameron had stepped out of bounds. However, Marrone explained that the rules only allow that sort of penalty to be reviewed when the receiver who stepped out of bounds makes contact with the ball. Since the pass never reached Cameron, the Bills couldn't challenge the call.
No taunting call against Browns: Center Eric Wood was upset with the Browns on Friday, calling some of their players "classless" for how they acted after quarterback EJ Manuel was injured in the third quarter. Marrone was asked for his reaction Friday, and simply said that he can't control what the other team does. He did say, however, that he asked officials if there should have been a taunting call against them on the play and they told him no.