NFL roster cuts: AFC | NFC

NFL Nation: Marquise Goodwin

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.

Nearly a third of the league inquired about receiver DeSean Jackson, but not all the teams are known. Two of those teams reportedly have fallen out of the race for Jackson -- and both have coaches who previously worked with him (Andy Reid in Kansas City and Marty Mornhinweg with the New York Jets). The assumption is that this sends up red flags about Jackson; that’s not necessarily the case.

And it’s hard to get a good feel on who is really interested. Oakland and Washington definitely are, though to what extent remains to be seen. Jackson arrives in Washington Monday and will visit Tuesday. Thus far, it’s his only reported visit.

San Francisco’s name came up when Jackson was on the trade block and the 49ers had expressed interest in free-agent wide receiver Golden Tate, among others, before he signed with Detroit. So it would make sense that they’d at least inquire about Jackson. Tampa Bay has said they'd take a look, though it was a rather tepid endorsement.

Here’s a little handicap of some teams that have expressed interest or reportedly want to get in the race:

Washington Redskins
Cap space: Approximately $7 million
Why he’d consider: It’s a premier market in a premier conference. Oh, and they get to play the Eagles twice a year. The Redskins would have a lot of speed offensively with Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed and would be a major threat down the field. Add to it an athletic quarterback who can extend plays and the off-schedule explosions would increase. Robert Griffin III’s deep-ball ability will be important -- and his ability to extend plays. Jackson’s agent, Joel Segal, has definitely taken quarterback play into consideration in the past with his receivers. If Jackson is forced to take a one-year, prove-it deal, this especially would be a factor.
Why he wouldn’t: Because other teams can offer more. Washington can’t compete if Jackson’s strong desire is to return to the West Coast and play for the team he grew up rooting for (Oakland). If they want a more proven coach, San Francisco and Tampa Bay have to be a consideration (if the Bucs are strongly interested, which is debatable). And if San Francisco truly is interested, then the 49ers clearly would offer him a better chance for team success. The Redskins still have other needs to address so they can only spend so much, and it's hard to gauge how aggressive they'll be. But the fact that they have the first visit says something.

Buffalo Bills
Cap space: Approximately $13 million
Why he’d consider: They have more cap room than most teams, so they could offer the sort of contract that could get it done now -- if they wanted to go that high. They need what Jackson provides (though many teams do).
Why he wouldn’t: The Bills aren’t a marquee team and their quarterback situation is questionable. EJ Manuel started 10 games as a rookie and showed flashes, but remains unproven. That has to be a strong consideration. None of their receivers had more than 597 yards last season, so how secure could you be? They have a good young talent in Robert Woods, a solid receiver in Stevie Johnson (nagging injuries, however) and a fast young guy in Marquise Goodwin. But that’s not exactly a Hall of Fame trio. The draft has to be an attractive option, so that could limit what the Bills would be willing to offer.

Oakland Raiders
Cap space: Approximately $15 million
Why he’d consider: Because the Raiders were his favorite team growing up and he played college ball at nearby Cal. Jackson is a West Coast kid, and if his desire to return there is strong, then it will be hard to top. The Raiders need help at receiver so Jackson would fill a big hole. Also, the Raiders have more money than the other teams reportedly interested thus far.
Why he wouldn’t: The Raiders have a wait-and-see approach going on and, while they’d like him, they won’t overspend. So if another team is more aggressive, then Jackson could end up elsewhere. Also, other than going back to California, the Raiders aren’t exactly an attractive franchise. Their coach, Dennis Allen, will enter the season on the hot seat and their quarterback, Matt Schaub, is not known for throwing deep all that often. At this point, it’s uncertain if he remains a quality starting quarterback.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cap space: Approximately $12 million
Why he’d consider: They have a potentially strong structure with new coach Lovie Smith. He’s a proven coach in the first year of his regime so he’ll be around several years at least. The Bucs have another explosive receiver to pair with Jackson in Vincent Jackson. Both are dangerous down the field. Oh, yeah, and they have the cap room to absorb a bigger contract.
Why he wouldn’t: Smith’s history suggests building around the run game and the defense. Also, they have a journeyman starting quarterback in Josh McCown and a second-year guy in Mike Glennon, whom the new coach did not draft (and replaced right away). So there are questions at this spot. Their interest is said to be lukewarm, so it’s hard to imagine them overspending for Jackson.

San Francisco 49ers
Cap space: Approximately $4 million
Why he’d consider: It’s the best team, it’s near where he played college ball and it puts him back on the West Coast. They need a receiver who can stretch the field to pair with Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. Jackson would provide that and then some. They also have a big-armed quarterback in Colin Kaepernick who can let Jackson run under the ball and remind everyone of his explosiveness. Unlike Washington, the 49ers also have a defense that plays at a championship level, so if Jackson wants to produce and win, this could be the stop.
Why he wouldn’t: The 49ers were reportedly interested in pursuing a trade, according to Pro Football Talk. But their cap number isn’t high and they already have talent at receiver. They could opt for the draft, which is deep at this position and has a few players with Jackson-like qualities (though no one can match his acceleration on deep balls). Hard to know what the reported friction with the 49ers between general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh means for the future of either person and, subsequently, a guy like Jackson.

Upon Further Review: Bills Week 16

December, 23, 2013
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A review of four hot issues from the Buffalo Bills' 19-0 win over the Miami Dolphins:

Jackson
Jackson reportedly has broken ribs: The Buffalo News reported after the game that running back Fred Jackson played through broken ribs. Jackson, 32, was probable for the game after sitting out Wednesday's practice. It's hardly the first time that he's played through injury this season, and coach Doug Marrone noted that after the game. "Early on, I think maybe some other players -- not talking about players on this team, I'm talking about other players that have had what he has -- I'm not sure they can go out and perform like that," Marrone said. "I give him a lot of credit and I admire him for that."

Robey stands out: Undrafted rookie cornerback Nickell Robey continues to be one of the top performers on the Bills' defense. On Sunday, he had two sacks, three total tackles for loss and a pass defensed. The slot cornerback is undersized but plays with great instinct, according to Marrone. "He's a very good definition of instinct," Marrone said. "When you come on here and you just have the feel for the slot, has a feel for the routes, has a feel for things going on out there and he's done a nice job." Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said that the team was shocked that Robey, who played at USC, wasn't drafted in April.

Goodwin has repeat injury: Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin left in the first quarter and did not return. It was announced as a knee injury, and Marrone said it apparently has been a recurring issue for the rookie. "It was the same injury ... he's had this injury before where it kind of goes and comes and we call it a knee," Marrone said. "I don't know the extent of it, [but] obviously it's worse than it has been in the other games."

Reason for Dareus' benching: Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was benched for the first quarter after an undisclosed team rules violation. WGR 550 reported after the game that Dareus has been "habitually late" to team meetings this season.

Goodwin leaves with knee injury

December, 22, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is out for the remainder of Sunday's game with a knee injury.

The Bills announced that Goodwin has a knee injury.

The rookie receiver was tackled into the Dolphins' sideline on an end-around run late in the first quarter. He remained down for several moments before walking back to the Bills' sideline with the help of trainers.

Goodwin suffered a hand injury in the season opener and missed four games.

Bills near full health as season wanes

December, 6, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Well, at least they're healthy.

At 4-8, the Buffalo Bills are staring down their ninth consecutive losing season, but at the moment, injuries aren't the issue.

The Bills listed just two players on Friday's injury report. Both are probable for Sunday's game in Tampa.

Here's their full injury report:

PROBABLE
DT Kyle Williams (Achilles)
WR Marquise Goodwin (calf)

Manny Lawson questionable for Sunday

November, 8, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills linebacker Manny Lawson is questionable for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after being excused from Friday's practice for personal reasons.

Lawson
"I spoke to him this morning, I excused him. It's not injury-related. He's taking care of some personal issues," head coach Doug Marrone said. "I'm going to talk to him this afternoon. ... I don't know much about the situation."

Lawson, 29, has started eight games this season for the Bills, recording 43 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Robert Woods (ankle) is listed as doubtful but will travel to Pittsburgh with the team. He did not practice again Friday.

Fellow rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) is probable and will play Sunday, per Marrone.

The full Bills injury report, including player participation in Friday's practice:

DOUBTFUL
WR Robert Woods (ankle; did not participate)

QUESTIONABLE
LB Manny Lawson (personal; did not participate)

PROBABLE
QB EJ Manuel (knee; full participation)
QB Thad Lewis (ribs; full participation)
DT Kyle Williams (Achilles'; full participation)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring; full participation)

Robert Woods unlikely to play Sunday

November, 6, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods did not practice Wednesday with an ankle injury and may not play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We're going to see where we are with Woods. I don't feel that good about Robert Woods being able to play," coach Doug Marrone said.

Fellow rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin, who has a hamstring injury, also did not practice Wednesday. Marrone said Goodwin will practice on a limited basis Thursday.

"I think that's a good sign," Marrone said. "You kind of have to wait until you go 100 percent on it until you know whether you're going to play or not."

Here's the full Bills injury report from Wednesday:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring)
WR Robert Woods (ankle)
DT Kyle Williams (Achilles')

FULL PARTICIPATION
QB EJ Manuel (knee)
QB Thad Lewis (ribs)

Robert Woods (ankle) misses practice

November, 6, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Robert Woods was not spotted at the start of Wednesday's practice.

Woods left in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with an ankle injury. Coach Doug Marrone said X-rays on Woods were negative but said he expected to see Woods on the field Wednesday.

Meanwhile, rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin, who left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, was on the field for the start of practice. However, Goodwin left to work with the strength and conditioning staff as soon as his teammates broke into individual drills.

Quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Thad Lewis both practiced, as expected.

Halftime thoughts: Bills 10, Chiefs 3

November, 3, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Offering some halftime thoughts as the Buffalo Bills lead the Kansas City Chiefs, 10-3:

1. Jeff Tuel, starting in place of Thad Lewis, has arguably outplayed Alex Smith to this point. Tuel was able to connect on a 59-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin, which has been the difference early in this game. Smith and Tuel are both completing a lot of shorter, manageable passes, as was expected. Despite the Chiefs entering the game with the NFL's best pass rush, they haven't gotten to Tuel yet today. The Bills, on the other hand, have two sacks.

2. Tuel's one interception came in the second quarter on a bad misfire to tight end Scott Chandler. The Chiefs knocked on the door after the turnover, moving to the Bills' 11-yard line, but cornerback Nickell Robey came up with a key tackle on third down -- another solid play by the undrafted rookie who has held his own this season. It doesn't feel like the Chiefs' offense has the punch it needs for this game.

3. C.J. Spiller's week off seems to be having an effect, as he was able to break away from defenders on a 29-yard run in the second quarter. Spiller sat out the first drive of the game and the Bills have used a rotation featuring more Tashard Choice than usual, but when Spiller's been on the field, he's been effective. Spiller has 46 yards on six carries.

4. You have to think field position will be a major factor in the second half. Each team has gone on long, sustained drives early in the game. Expect possessions to be limited in the second half. This one feels like it could come down to a late turnover deciding the outcome.

Locker Room Buzz: Buffalo Bills

October, 27, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS -- Observed in the locker room after the Buffalo Bills' 35-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints:

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Goodwin
Goodwin has elbow injury: One late-game injury that flew under the radar: Rookie wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was carted off in the fourth quarter with what the team said is an elbow injury. Doctors spoke after the game with Goodwin, who dressed himself with just his right arm. Goodwin was the last player to leave the locker room after the game, and his status going forward remains unclear. Goodwin had three catches for 56 yards in the loss.

Marrone to review challenge procedure: Bills head coach Doug Marrone challenged two ball spots in the second half and lost both. He falls to 0-for-3 on the season for his challenges. Prior to Sunday, the Bills were just one of six teams not to have won a challenge. Marrone said after the game that he needs to change how he decides to challenge a play. "I have to do a better job of changing the process of our challenges," he said. "We haven't been successful in that. If we keep it the same, how do I expect that to change? We'll look into that. ... It's my fault. Period. I am the head coach."

Robey downplays officiating: In addition to Marrone's two challenges, there were a fair share of close calls made against each team Sunday. The home crowd, for example, let the officials hear it after two roughing-the-passer calls against the Saints late in the third quarter, helping lead to a Bills touchdown. But Bills rookie cornerback Nickell Robey said he didn't have any qualms with other penalties that fell against Buffalo. "The refs let us play today," Robey said. "I wouldn't put anything on the refs. They let us play aggressive, they let us play hard. No knock on them today. We just have to come out and finish."

Checkpoint day for injured Bills

October, 9, 2013
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The Buffalo Bills haven't had a full practice in more than a week, and when they step back onto the practice field Wednesday, it will serve as a sort of checkpoint for several injured players.

After hinting at their returns since last week, coach Doug Marrone confirmed Monday that cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) will have a chance to participate in Wednesday's practice.

If Gilmore and Brooks get back into the mix, they may have a shot to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. It's far from a guarantee, but either way, it would be a big step in both players' recoveries and a positive sign for their health going forward if they are practicing Wednesday.

What could be a stronger bet is safety Jairus Byrd seeing a larger role in practice. The Pro Bowler hasn't missed a practice yet this season, but at least in the portion open to reporters, he has only worked on the scout team. If Byrd lines up with the first-team defense Wednesday, he may be a good shot to play Sunday.

That leaves a pair of wide receivers to watch Wednesday. Marrone was cautiously optimistic that Steve Johnson (lumbar strain) and Marquise Goodwin (fractured hand) will be able to play Sunday. Goodwin has been increasing his workload in practice lately, but he may still be a game-time decision.

Johnson, however, may fall into the same category as C.J. Spiller, who is also dealing with multiple recent injuries. Marrone said that Spiller might sit out a day or two of practice this week, and it wouldn't be surprising if Johnson does the same.

Bills' Doug Legursky returns to practice

September, 18, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Doug Legursky returned to practice Wednesday, nearly three weeks after suffering a knee injury in the team's preseason finale.

Legursky, who was in a jersey and helmet, took part in positional drills during the period of practice open to reporters.

If he is able to return to play on Sunday, Legursky would give a boost to an offensive line that ranks among the worst in the league in depth.

Meanwhile, cornerback Stephon Gilmore (fractured wrist) and receiver Marquise Goodwin (fractured hand) were also in jerseys and helmets for the stretching portion of practice. They did not join their teammates in positional drills, instead working with the strength and conditioning staff.

Cornerback Ron Brooks (fractured foot) was the lone player not spotted on the field.

Gilmore, Legursky progressing in rehab

September, 11, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills had two injured players back on the practice field Wednesday, with cornerback Stephon Gilmore and offensive lineman Doug Legursky doing rehab work outdoors as the rest of the team practiced.

Neither player was in uniform, but it was the first time either player has been spotted at practice since they were injured in back-to-back weeks during the preseason.

Gilmore, who fractured his wrist on Aug. 24, was wearing a brace on his left wrist as he rode an exercise bike. Legursky, wearing a brace over his left knee that he injured on Aug. 29, worked with the strength staff.

Only two Bills weren't spotted on the practice field: wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (fractured hand) and cornerback Ron Brooks (fractured foot). Both are expected to miss significant time.

Locker Room Buzz: Buffalo Bills

September, 8, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Observed in the locker room after the Buffalo Bills' 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots:

Win slips away: Defensive tackle Kyle Williams was frustrated by the loss, giving his team credit but lamenting that it let the victory slip through its hands. "Just because all of you say we're going to get beat by 50 and we get beat by [two points], that doesn't make me feel any better," said Williams, the team's longest-tenured player. "I've been here a long time. I just want to freaking win. We got to find a way to make the plays at the end of the day."

Jackson explains huddle: In the second quarter, with the offense sputtering, Bills coach Doug Marrone called a huddle on the sideline, with Fred Jackson giving a fiery follow-up speech once Marrone walked away. "I just told them that there were things that we were doing to ourselves. They didn't stop us in the first half. They were self-inflicted injuries to ourselves," Jackson said. "I said if we can get on our own way, we can get this thing rolling, and we did that in the second half. We went right down the field and scored a touchdown."

Goodwin injured; Searcy OK: Rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin left the game at halftime with what the team announced as a hand injury. He wasn't spotted in the locker room after the game. Safety Da'Norris Searcy said he is fine after staying on the sideline in the fourth quarter. "I was cramping bad, both calf muscles," Searcy said. "I had to come off and get a whole bunch of [fluids] and stretching, but it kept locking up on me. Just have to make sure I stay hydrated."

Observation deck: Bills-Vikings

August, 16, 2013
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Observations from the Buffalo Bills' 20-16 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night:

Kolb gets his chance, plays full half: In his first action of the preseason, Kevin Kolb played the entire first half, finishing 13-of-21 passing for 111 yards and an interception. The Bills always have said they would give both Kolb and rookie EJ Manuel a fair shot at the starting job, and tonight might have been Kolb's best chance to prove himself. The results weren't overly positive, although Kolb led the Bills offense on two scoring drives late in the first half, looking more comfortable than he did in the early stages of the game.

Buffalo BillsManuel again solid, but not spectacular: Manuel entered the game at the start of the second half and led the Bills on an 80-yard touchdown drive, completing all six of his passes for 44 yards. More importantly, Manuel did not throw an interception for a second consecutive game. However, the Bills (or Manuel) opted not to take any shots downfield, something they are expected to incorporate into their offense this season. Instead, many of Manuel's throws were in the short range, but he did complete a 27-yard pass to rookie receiver Brandon Kaufman in the third quarter. Manuel also had the benefit of playing against the Vikings' second-team defense.

Penalties becoming a major issue: The Bills were flagged 14 times for 106 yards in the contest, one week after being penalized nine times against the Indianapolis Colts. The flags have to be a growing concern for head coach Doug Marrone, especially considering nine of them came in the first half, when many of his starters were still in the game. Among the flags was a key holding call in the red zone against Colin Brown, who made his second consecutive start at left guard. In what remains an open battle, that won't help his case.

Defense generating pressure: The Bills' defense kept the pressure on Vikings quarterbacks throughout the game, finishing with four sacks for 38 yards. Outside linebacker Jerry Hughes had two sacks, including a sack and forced fumble of Matt Cassel in the second quarter.

Hogan, young receivers making strides: First-year receiver Chris Hogan continued to stand out for the Bills, playing nearly the entire game. Hogan was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 34 yards and was targeted a team-high seven times. Meanwhile, Kaufman and Marcus Easley continue to be second-half standouts, with five catches for 91 yards between them. Undrafted rookie Da'Rick Rogers had a quiet night, being targeted twice and making one catch for six yards. On special teams, second-round pick Robert Woods returned a punt 34 yards, one week after third-round pick Marquise Goodwin had two long kickoff returns.

Mario sits out: Defensive end Mario Williams (foot) dressed but was announced as an inactive for the game. He played in two series in the preseason opener, and the Bills continue to manage the health this preseason of their highest-paid player.

What's next: The Bills return to St. John Fisher College for their final four practices of training camp, beginning Sunday. They travel to face the Washington Redskins in the third preseason game next Saturday.

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