Buffalo Bills: brandon spikes

Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders:

Defensive ends:
Jerry Hughes -- 56 of 72
Mario Williams -- 56 of 72
Manny Lawson -- 17 of 72
Jarius Wynn -- 17 of 72

Quick-hit thoughts: This was Wynn's first game back since injuring his knee in a Nov. 9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He was once again part of a healthy rotation on the defensive line, one that saw Hughes and Williams play 78 percent of snaps.

Defensive tackles:
Kyle Williams -- 61 of 72
Corbin Bryant -- 44 of 72
Stefan Charles -- 30 of 72
Marcell Dareus -- 11 of 72

Quick-hit thoughts: Dareus going down with a knee injury early in the second quarter dealt a crushing blow to the Bills' run defense. They allowed 5 yards on six carries (0.83 yard average) before his injury and 135 yards on 30 carries (4.5 yard average) after his injury.

Linebackers:
Preston Brown -- 72 of 72
Nigel Bradham -- 67 of 72
Brandon Spikes -- 38 of 72
Ty Powell -- 6 of 72
Keith Rivers -- 6 of 72
Larry Dean -- 0 of 72 (inactive)
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 72 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: This was more of a Spikes game, as the Raiders played with a lead and were in run-first mode for most the contest. The Bills also used Powell and Rivers as part of their sub packages, opting for an extra linebacker on the field instead of a safety or defensive lineman. Part of that seemed to be aimed at confusing rookie Derek Carr as to which players would be coming his way at the snap.

Cornerbacks:
Corey Graham -- 70 of 72
Stephon Gilmore -- 38 of 72
Nickell Robey -- 34 of 72
Ron Brooks -- 21 of 72
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 72 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Gilmore left in the second half with concussion-like symptoms and was replaced by Brooks in the defensive lineup, yet it was the veteran, Graham, who allowed the 51-yard catch by Andre Holmes that helped seal the Raiders' win.

Safeties:
Aaron Williams -- 66 of 72
Da'Norris Searcy -- 66 of 72
Bacarri Rambo -- 12 of 72
Duke Williams -- 3 of 72

Quick-hit thoughts: With Searcy returning to the lineup after sitting out last week's game, the Bills switched up their strategy at this position. Duke Williams, usually a part of the dime package, had his playing time reduced in favor of a linebacker (Powell or Rivers). Rambo rotated in with the starting group.
Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 21-13 win over the Green Bay Packers:

Defensive ends:
Jerry Hughes -- 68 of 71
Mario Williams -- 55 of 71
Manny Lawson -- 19 of 71
Jarius Wynn -- 0 of 71 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: So much for Hughes' lack of playing time, huh? One week after Hughes' snaps were dramatically cut after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in Denver, his playing time was ramped up considerably against the Packers. He played 96 percent of the snaps, a season high.

Defensive tackles:
Marcell Dareus -- 49 of 71
Kyle Williams -- 48 of 71
Stefan Charles -- 24 of 71
Corbin Bryant -- 23 of 71

Quick-hit thoughts: Status quo here, as the Bills stuck to a healthy rotation behind their two starters.

Linebackers:
Preston Brown -- 71 of 71
Nigel Bradham -- 63 of 71
Brandon Spikes -- 8 of 71
Ty Powell -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Keith Rivers -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Larry Dean -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 71 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Spikes played in just 11 percent of snaps, as the Bills weren't in their base defense for much of the game. Bradham and Brown are more effective players against a passing offense like Green Bay's.

Cornerbacks:
Corey Graham -- 70 of 71
Stephon Gilmore -- 68 of 71
Nickell Robey -- 63 of 71
Ron Brooks -- 10 of 71
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)

Quick-hit thoughts: Gilmore seemed to be bothered early in the game by a neck/shoulder problem, but no injury was announced Monday. The Bills' depth was tested here, with Brooks getting more action on defense than usual, but this group performed as well as anyone could have asked.

Safeties:
Aaron Williams -- 70 of 71
Duke Williams -- 42 of 71
Bacarri Rambo -- 29 of 71
Da'Norris Searcy -- 0 of 71 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: This was the first time Rambo had been active since Week 12; he missed the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. When Williams -- who was still being evaluated Monday for a concussion -- went down, Rambo stepped in and had the game of his life. He could still have a role next week, as Williams' and Searcy's statuses are still up in the air.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 37-22 loss to the New England Patriots:

Defensive ends:
Mario Williams -- 55 of 71
Jerry Hughes -- 53 of 71
Jarius Wynn -- 22 of 71
Manny Lawson -- 12 of 71

Quick-hit thoughts: It's more than fair to question why Williams and Hughes weren't on the field when the Bills needed a stop at the end of the game. Due to a "rotation," as Doug Marrone put it after the game, the Bills used Wynn and Lawson for the first eight plays (including three penalties) of the Patriots' final full drive when the Bills were down eight points with less than five minutes remaining. That's precisely the point in the game when the Bills could use Williams. Why else pay him nearly $20 million per season?

Defensive tackles:
Marcell Dareus -- 64 of 71
Kyle Williams -- 58 of 71
Stefan Charles -- 15 of 71
Corbin Bryant -- 6 of 71

Quick-hit thoughts: Marrone said that they weren't expecting Williams to play until Friday, so his snap count -- 82 percent -- is surprising. The Bills used less of Charles and Bryant than they did when Williams was fully healthy.

Linebackers:
Nigel Bradham -- 57 of 71
Brandon Spikes -- 44 of 71
Keith Rivers -- 41 of 71
Preston Brown -- 31 of 71
Ty Powell -- 2 of 71
Larry Dean -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 71 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: For the first time this season, the Bills had their full complement of linebackers (aside from an ankle injury to Powell) for an entire game. That led to a drop in snaps for Brown and a more part-time role for Spikes, who was forced into a full-time role last week.

Cornerbacks:
Stephon Gilmore -- 71 of 71
Leodis McKelvin -- 68 of 71
Nickell Robey -- 24 of 71
Ron Brooks -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 71 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: As colleague Mike Reiss pointed out, the Patriots stayed in their base offensive personnel for a large chunk of the game, which limited the Bills' time in their sub package. That kept Robey off the field for two-thirds of the contest.

Safeties:
Duke Williams -- 70 of 71
Corey Graham -- 69 of 71
Da'Norris Searcy -- 19 of 71
Kenny Ladler -- 0 of 71 (special teams only)
Aaron Williams -- 0 of 71 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Marrone said after the game that he opted for Duke Williams over Searcy for matchup reasons, but the move might have backfired. Williams was a mis-match in coverage against Rob Gronkowski on a 33-yard gain and had a rougher afternoon with some penalties and big plays. Graham might have also been out of position on a 43-yard touchdown catch by Brian Tyms.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- In April, Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes took to Twitter saying it would be "like Christmas" to beat the New England Patriots, his former team, twice this season.

Spikes and the Bills lost their first tilt with the Patriots, 37-22, on Sunday, leading to Spikes lamenting his offseason prediction in the locker room Monday.

Spikes
"I think I talked a lot of trash in the offseason and we weren't able to back it up. That's what hurts me the most," Spikes said. "I pride myself on being a man of my word and it just let the city down. It's just unfortunate."

Spikes was noticeably hobbled Monday as he continues to deal with a rib injury. He played 44 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Patriots, tallying eight tackles.

"We worked so hard in OTAs, the offseason, training camp, just for this game. It was disappointing. Just come out and trip it off like that. They played well. I'll give my hats off to them," he said. "[Tom] Brady came out and -- it don't surprise me. He's a competitor. He's always looking to get better.

"With that guy being in this conference, he's the guy you gotta beat. It's that simple. We all know that."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Set to face his former team Sunday, Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes did a double-take Wednesday when a reporter read him a quote from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Spikes
"Yeah, we know him. I don't think he's changed much," Belichick said earlier Wednesday. "Hair might be a little longer. He's about the same."

Spikes, whose tenure in New England ended after he was placed on injured reserve last season, was taken aback.

"Really? What a pleasant surprise," Spikes said. "I don't know ... I expected him ... you guys know how it all ended. I don't think he held a grudge. It is what it is. Players change teams every year, every week. So it just is what it is."

After signing with the Bills as a free agent this past offseason, Spikes contested the Patriots' decision to place him on injured reserve in January.

"I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report," Spikes said in a March radio interview. "That's just how things go there. Almost like what happened with [Aqib] Talib and his hip."

The NFL investigated and later cleared the Patriots of any wrongdoing with either Spikes' or Talib's injuries.

Spikes had high praise for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who will face Spikes as an opponent for the first time after four seasons of practicing against one another.

"Brady always has a chip on his shoulder. Me, I refer to him as 'Pharaoh,' because he's amazing," Spikes said. "I always respect him, because he comes out every year with that edge. That's what the great ones do."
DETROIT -- Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 17-14 win over the Detroit Lions:

Note: Since snap counts from the Bills' loss to the Houston Texans were lost in the quarterback shuffle last Monday, we will include those in parentheses for each player.

Defensive ends:
Mario Williams -- 47 of 62 (Last week: 52 of 68)
Jerry Hughes -- 45 of 62 (Last week: 35 of 68)
Jarius Wynn -- 26 of 62 (Last week: 30 of 68)
Manny Lawson -- 11 of 62 (Last week: 19 of 68)

Quick-hit thoughts: We're seeing a little bit of a separation between Wynn and Lawson, with Wynn seeing the field more often than Lawson. The Bills used a five-man look on their defensive line for at least one play, which factors into this mix.

Defensive tackles:
Marcell Dareus -- 57 of 62 (Last week: 55 of 68)
Corbin Bryant -- 36 of 62 (Last week: 31 of 68)
Stefan Charles -- 20 of 62 (Last week: 23 of 68)
Kyle Williams -- 0 of 62 (injured/inactive; Last week: 27 of 68)

Quick-hit thoughts: Dareus stepped up in a big way, playing 92 percent of snaps with Williams sidelined. The Bills used close to a 2:1 mix between Bryant and Charles.

Linebackers:
Preston Brown -- 62 of 62 (Last week: 51 of 68)
Brandon Spikes -- 51 of 62 (Last week: 42 of 68)
Keith Rivers -- 17 of 62 (Last week: 58 of 68)
Ty Powell -- 0 of 62 (special teams only; Last week: 4 of 68)
Larry Dean -- 0 of 62 (special teams only; Last week: special teams only)
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 62 (special teams only; Last week: injured/inactive)
Nigel Bradham -- 0 of 62 (injured/inactive; Last week: 27 of 68)

Quick-hit thoughts: The surprising decision here was for the Bills to opt for Spikes instead of Rivers in their sub package. Spikes isn't known for his speed or coverage ability, so that opened up a potential liability in the pass defense. It ended up not being a major issue, so job well done for Spikes and Brown in the nickel.

Cornerbacks:
Stephon Gilmore -- 62 of 62 (Last week: 68 of 68)
Leodis McKelvin -- 54 of 62 (Last week: 56 of 68)
Nickell Robey -- 41 of 62 (Last week: 27 of 68)
Corey Graham -- 29 of 62 (Last week: 8 of 68)
Ron Brooks -- 0 of 62 (injured/special teams only; Last week: special teams only)
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 62 (inactive; Last week: inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Doug Marrone said he wants to "get the snaps equal" between Gilmore, McKelvin, and Graham but that has hardly been the case the last two weeks. He rode the hot hand, McKelvin, against the Texans and didn't turn to Graham much Sunday in Detroit. Some of Graham's snaps came at safety when Da'Norris Searcy and Aaron Williams were both banged up.

Safeties:
Duke Williams -- 57 of 62 (Last week: 39 of 68)
Aaron Williams -- 50 of 62 (Last week: 68 of 68)
Da'Norris Searcy -- 17 of 62 (Last week: 28 of 68)

Quick-hit thoughts: This position continues to get hit by the injury bug. Aaron Williams appeared to have a wrist or hand injury during Sunday's game, although nothing was announced by the team. His time was limited after that injury. Searcy also headed to the locker room with an injury, the second time in three weeks he's been banged up. That led to an uptick in snaps for Duke Williams, a second-year player who seems to be maturing in the defense, as well as Graham seeing some more time at safety.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- I bet Joe Schaffer was never fined for wearing red socks.

The NFL has come a long way since Schaffer -- the Buffalo Bills' first-ever player -- roamed the field. Nowadays, fashion statements will draw five-digit fines from the league.

That's exactly what happened this week to Bills wide receiver Mike Williams, whom the NFL fined $11,025 for wearing off-color socks in Sunday's 22-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

It's the second fine this season against Williams, who was also docked $5,512 for an unspecified uniform violation in the season opener.

Williams, who arrived from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an offseason trade, wore all-red socks Sunday instead of his team-issued blue and white pair. He says it’s all part of an effort to loosen up the Bills’ locker room.

"I try to put all the attention on me. Because everything I’ve been through, I know I can handle it," Williams told ESPN. "I even do a big show before the game, let everybody know what I’m dressing on. Make fun in the locker room, just put all the attention on me so everybody else can go out and play.

"If we win, it’s all worth it. When you lose, that’s when you’re like, 'Should I do it?' But the money goes to somewhere good."

Meanwhile, Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes was fined $8,268 for an apparent head-butt of Chargers offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger last Sunday. Spikes, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play, was fined the same amount in Week 1 for a late hit against the Chicago Bears.

Rookie linebacker plays every snap again

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
3:00
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 22-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers:

Defensive ends:
Mario Williams -- 49 of 66
Jerry Hughes -- 32 of 66
Jarius Wynn -- 32 of 66
Manny Lawson -- 20 of 66

Quick-hit thoughts: After using about a 2:1 ratio in the first two weeks between the starters and reserves, this was altered Sunday. Hughes and Wynn playing the same amount was curious, as Hughes didn't have any injury announced. He was quiet on the stat sheet, finishing with three tackles and no sacks. Lawson had the Bills' only sack.

Defensive tackles:
Kyle Williams -- 53 of 66
Marcell Dareus -- 53 of 66
Corbin Bryant -- 17 of 66
Stefan Charles -- 11 of 66

Quick-hit thoughts: Less of a rotation this week than in the first two games. Dareus, who had some cramping issues against the Dolphins, returned with a heavier workload.

Linebackers:
Preston Brown -- 66 of 66
Nigel Bradham -- 60 of 66
Brandon Spikes -- 18 of 66
Ty Powell -- 2 of 66
Larry Dean -- 0 of 66 (special teams only)
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 66 (injured/inactive)
Keith Rivers -- 0 of 66 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Chargers' offensive personnel kept the Bills in their nickel package, which kept Spikes on the sidelines for most of the game. Instead, Brown played wire-to-wire for the third time this season. He has yet to come off the field. The results were mixed again for Brown, who appeared to struggle in pass coverage at times.

Cornerbacks:
Stephon Gilmore -- 49 of 66
Leodis McKelvin -- 46 of 66
Corey Graham -- 33 of 66
Nickell Robey -- 28 of 66
Ron Brooks -- 23 of 66
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 66 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: This position was at the heart of the Bills' defensive problems on Sunday. Surprisingly, Gilmore and McKelvin started and were the main combination at cornerback. One of Graham's 33 snaps came at safety. Robey also saw time on the bench in the second half when Brooks -- who didn't play a defensive snap in Week 2 -- took over in the slot. Doug Marrone cited a rotation at this position but the decision to keep Graham, an effective player through the first games, off the field is puzzling.

Safeties:
Aaron Williams -- 65 of 66
Da'Norris Searcy -- 28 of 66
Duke Williams -- 40 of 66

Quick-hit thoughts: The Bills had their depth tested at this position when Searcy went down with an ankle injury. When Williams left for one play with a leg contusion, they had to pair Graham and Duke Williams at safety. It wouldn't be shocking if the Bills added a player here this week. They have a pair of safeties -- Kenny Ladler and Deon Broomfield -- on the practice squad.

Spikes' time dips as Bradham returns

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
1:20
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Taking a closer look at defensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins:

Defensive ends:
Mario Williams -- 54 of 79
Jerry Hughes -- 51 of 79
Manny Lawson -- 28 of 79
Jarius Wynn -- 25 of 79

Quick-hit thoughts: About a 2:1 ratio for a second consecutive week. Williams and Hughes each tallied a sack, while Lawson or Wynn didn't have any breakdowns when subbing in.

Defensive tackles:
Kyle Williams -- 56 of 79
Corbin Bryant -- 39 of 79
Marcell Dareus -- 38 of 79
Stefan Charles -- 22 of 79

Quick-hit thoughts: Dareus had some cramping issues later in the game that contributed to Bryant's higher snap total. Kyle Williams and Charles -- who was injured, too -- both added sacks.

Linebackers:
Preston Brown -- 79 of 79
Nigel Bradham -- 66 of 79
Brandon Spikes -- 15 of 79
Ty Powell -- 1 of 79
Randell Johnson -- 0 of 79 (special teams only)
Keith Rivers -- 0 of 79 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Dolphins' offensive personnel kept the Bills in their nickel package for much of the game. For Spikes, whose strength is as a run defender, that limited his playing time, especially with the return of Bradham from a one-game suspension. In addition to Bradham, the Bills leaned heavily on Brown for a second consecutive week. At this point, the rookie is a weaker link in the Bills' defense compared to their talent up front and in the back end, but he still has avoided major breakdowns.

Cornerbacks:
Corey Graham -- 72 of 79
Nickell Robey -- 68 of 79
Stephon Gilmore -- 53 of 79
Leodis McKelvin -- 33 of 79
Ron Brooks -- 0 of 79 (special teams only)
Ross Cockrell -- 0 of 74 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: A well deserved bump in playing time for Graham, who recorded his first interception in Week 1 and had a team-high three passes defensed Sunday. The Bills rotated Gilmore and McKelvin at the other spot, while Robey was on the field for the bulk of the game in the slot. I'd expect the same look next week; it's tough to take Graham off the field given his recent play.

Safeties:
Aaron Williams -- 79 of 79
Da'Norris Searcy -- 72 of 79
Duke Williams -- 16 of 79
Jonathan Meeks -- 0 of 74 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Aaron Williams and Searcy have settled into their roles and have allowed Bills fans to forget about Jairus Byrd. Aaron Williams in particular has shown aggression, tallying two tackles for a loss against the Dolphins and adding a pass defensed. Duke Williams continues in his role as the dime back.

NFL fines Bills LB Brandon Spikes

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
4:45
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The NFL fined Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes $8,268 for an unnecessary roughness penalty in Sunday's win against the Chicago Bears.

On a 2nd-and-1 play in the third quarter, Spikes lowered his shoulder into the upper body of Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes, after Holmes had already been tackled following a 13-yard catch. The Bills were penalized 11 yards and the Bears scored a touchdown on the next play.

The $8,268 fine is NFL's standard fine for the first offense. A second offense this season will trigger a $16,537 fine.

Tight end Scott Chandler, who also was flagged for unnecessary roughness in Sunday's game, was not fined.

Spikes, Dixon added to injury report

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
3:10
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee) and running back Anthony Dixon (hamstring) were added to the Buffalo Bills' injury report Thursday.

Spikes stepped off the practice field briefly to warm-up further on an exercise bike. After consulting with a trainer, he returned to practice and took part in team drills.

Meanwhile, the Bills upgraded cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin) to full participation after he was limited Wednesday.

Did not participate:
TE Lee Smith (toe)

Limited participation:
S Jonathan Meeks (neck)
RB Anthony Dixon (hamstring)
LB Brandon Spikes (knee)

Full participation:
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
LB Randell Johnson (ankle)
WR Sammy Watkins (ribs)

Spikes, Graham among Bills' captains

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
9:20
AM ET
The Buffalo Bills announced six team captains Monday for the upcoming season.

Graham
Spikes
Linebacker Brandon Spikes and cornerback Corey Graham were both named captains. Defensive end Mario Williams is also a first-time captain.

The three remaining captains are the same from last season: running back Fred Jackson, center Eric Wood and defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

A notable absence among the captains? Quarterback EJ Manuel, who enters his second season.

Captains are selected by voting among teammates.
Spikes
ESPN.com is ranking NFL players and counting them down (follow on Twitter @ESPNNFL) from No. 100 to No. 1 on both offense and defense, 10 per day for 10 days. The top 10 on both sides of the ball will be revealed Friday, Aug. 29.

The rankings were based off votes from 85 ESPN NFL experts.

The first Buffalo Bills player to land on the Top 100 list is linebacker Brandon Spikes, who came in at No. 98 on defense with an average score of 6.25 (on a scale from 1-to-10).

Spikes, a newcomer to the Bills this season, wasn't ranked last season.

2014 Bills ESPN NFL Rank results:
LB Brandon Spikes -- No. 98 (defense)

2013 Bills ESPN NFL Rank results:
DT Marcell Dareus -- No. 100 (defense)
DT Kyle Williams -- No. 82 (defense)
WR Stevie Johnson -- No. 76 (offense)
RB C.J. Spiller -- No. 58 (offense)
DE Mario Williams -- No. 38 (defense)
S Jairus Byrd -- No. 26 (defense)

Bills Camp Report: Day 18

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
7:30
PM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
  • Marcell Dareus' hamstring injury didn't appear to be anything major -- he stayed on the field and watched the remainder of practice -- but it's something that bears watching. The strength of the Bills defense is with its line, and any absence from Dareus, Kyle Williams, or Mario Williams would impact the rest of the unit. For now it looks like a minor issue, though.
  • Coming off his less than ideal performance Tuesday night, EJ Manuel looked better at points in Wednesday's practice. He rolled out and hit Robert Woods along the sideline early in the first 11-on-11 period. He also lofted a good pass down the right sideline later in practice but Mike Williams couldn't haul it in -- although cornerback Michael Carter might have gotten a hand on the ball. Otherwise, Manuel's passes were relegated to short-range throws.
  • The Bills offense was all over the map in red zone work. On the plus side, Manuel hit Mike Williams for a touchdown in 7-on-7 and lofted two well-thrown passes to Sammy Watkins and Scott Chandler that were either dropped or broken up. Jeff Tuel followed with a touchdowns to Lee Smith and Chris Gragg, as well as a beautiful one-handed grab by Woods in the end zone. On the negative end, Manuel badly overthrew Williams on a broken play where Williams was open in the end zone. On the next play, Manuel scrambled in the backfield and tried forcing a ball into coverage. He was intercepted by first-year safety Jajuan Harley.
  • Linebacker Brandon Spikes seemed to be dealing with a groin issue during 11-on-11 work. He reached for that area several times when he was on the field and was examined on the ground by trainers when he came off the field. Spikes returned to action but didn't appear 100 percent. Safeties Derek Brim and Kenny Ladler both spent time on exercise bikes during team drills, while safety Jonathan Meeks dealt with a neck injury.
  • Tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) didn't take part in team drills. That could put their status for Friday's game in doubt.
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin wasn't in pads or a helmet for the the second straight day after beginning camp practicing with his teammates for at least a portion of practice. Asked if McKelvin had suffered a setback in his recovery from hip surgery, coach Doug Marrone said the team was simply following their plan with McKelvin.
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A hush went over the crowd.

After jumping up to catch a pass and coming down hard, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins was slow to get up following a play late in Monday's practice.

[+] EnlargeSammy Watkins
Bill Wippert/AP PhotoBills trainer Bud Carpenter tends to receiver Sammy Watkins during Monday's practice.
Watkins' teammates called for trainers, who escorted him to the sidelines. Coach Doug Marrone even went over to check on his first-round pick.

As it turned out, Watkins simply had his eye poked.

He was back into practice soon after but it was the sort of moment that captured fans' attention both at St. John Fisher College and across social media.

Watkins' scare was the highlight of Monday's practice, one that also included linebacker Brandon Spikes leaving for apparent heat-related issues. Spikes removed his gear and was placed in a cooling tent about halfway through practice.

Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Darrin Kitchens was carted off during a special teams drill, while cornerback Brandon Smith limped off the field in a subsequent drill.

The back-to-back injuries are a reminder that the Bills, with the NFL's longest training camp, will have to endure the summer. An injury to Watkins -- or second-year quarterback EJ Manuel -- will be a major setback. The Bills dodged a bullet with Watkins on Monday.

Fortunately for the team, they had two more players avoid serious problems after leaving Sunday's practice. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who dealt with complications from sickle cell anemia on Sunday, was back practicing Monday, as was Seantrel Henderson, who left Sunday's session with a hip injury.

SPONSORED HEADLINES