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Buffalo Bills News - December 5, 2003

Marker Thomas making his mark [5:01 AM]
New Haven Register reports: 'With Pro Bowler John Abraham expected to miss Sunday’s game in Buffalo, his fifth in the last six weeks, Thomas will continue to start on the right side. Starting the last five games, Thomas had made 34 tackles and is coming off his best performance in Monday night’s win over Tennessee.'

Marker Drew Back at Practice [5:00 AM] reports: 'He said he's need to practice sometime this week in order to play on Sunday. It appears Bledsoe will be back under center this Sunday's home game against the Jets. He is still listed as probable.'

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December 4, 2003

Marker Bledsoe returns to practice; probable for Sunday [6:01 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Last week, a blow to the head by New York's Keith Hamilton left Bledsoe lying on the field for a few minutes with his eyes closed. He got up and finished the series, which ended in a touchdown run by Travis Henry.'

Marker Jets, Bills attempt to keep playoff dreams alive [6:00 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Jets have won two straight trips to Buffalo, including a thrilling 37-31 overtime victory at Ralph Wilson Stadium last season. Edwards is 4-1 against the Bills, while Williams 1-4 versus the Jets.'

Marker Bledsoe Returned To Practice, But In A Limited Role [5:59 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Bledsoe apparently told Gregg Williams that he wanted to do more, but practice was scripted for the quarterback to alternate and Williams said no. Bills spokesperson Scott Berchtold said he did not ask Bledsoe if he was still dizzy or fuzzy.'

Marker Gray has Bills defense near top [5:58 PM]
AP reports: '''All I knew was being a hard-worker and hands-on,'' Gray said. ''And you can do that. But the thing you have to do is not be so hands-on that you step on your position coaches' toes, especially when those guys know what they're doing.'''

Marker Bledsoe returns to practice [5:57 PM]
AP reports: 'Team spokesman Scott Berchtold said Bledsoe took part in alternating practice periods, and added the quarterback told him he was prepared to participate more.'

Marker Bledsoe practices, Jets game sells out [5:56 PM]
Rochester D & C reports: 'Bledsoe, who has been experiencing light-headedness and fatigue, threw passes, handed the ball off and did some light jogging during the five-minute session the media is allowed to watch at the beginning of practice. A team spokesman said Bledsoe took part in alternating sessions.'

Marker Bills' sluggish offense has Williams in a hole [5:55 PM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'What is the status of QB Drew Bledsoe?

He's fine. Basically, I don't even have to list him as probable (on the injury report), to tell you the truth, but I did it because it was a coaching decision. I kept him out of the ballgame (last week) but he could have finished. It was just a situation that we had the ballgame in control and it was a way for him to take a breather for a little bit and get Alex (Van Pelt) some time.'

Marker Ralph Wilson Purchases Over 3,000 Tickets For Boys and Girls Clubs of Western New York [5:54 PM] reports: 'Wilson's generosity beats the NFL's Blackout deadline of 4:15 p.m. today, enabling local CBS affiliates in Western New York to broadcast the game. All seven Bills regular season home games have been televised locally this year with sellouts prior to the deadline for each game.'

Marker Business in Buffalo [5:53 PM] reports: '“Mentally, I think we’re a little bit stronger for winning that game,” said New York head coach Herman Edwards. “Now we have to prepare ourselves this week going into a hostile place. They have the same record we have. They’re fighting like we’re fighting.”'

Marker Bills aim for Strong Finish [11:47 AM] reports: 'Is it a mere formality that Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams will be gone after the season?
I don’t think it is a mere formality although it appears right now to be a likelihood. Buffalo came into this season with a lot of high expectations for the playoffs and even better than that – the division title and possibly even the Super Bowl. It’s obvious that the Bills are going to fall short on all three of those counts. The team is not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but realistically, it’s not looking very good for this football team. Under those circumstances, I can’t imagine a scenario where Gregg Williams came back other than if this team ran the table and somehow sneaks into the postseason.'

Marker Kenyatta is all Wright for a very special job [10:59 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Wright's story takes on an added dimension Sunday because he'll be going against Buffalo, his team for his first two pro seasons before the Bills waived him after the 2001 season. But it's hard to hear a vengeful tone in his upbeat Oklahoma twang. "I still have a few friends on the Bills, and Sammy Morris and I talk every week," he said of Buffalo's third-down back and special-teamer. "Really, we don't trash-talk each other. He's not one of those guys. But I'll tell him we're going to beat them, just to raise conversation."'

Marker Jets odds and ends [10:58 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'The Jets probably would prefer to face Bledsoe than backup Alex Van Pelt. Bledsoe has lost nine of his last 10 starts against the Jets and was sacked seven times in the 30-3 rout in October for their first win of the season.'

Marker Bledsoe held out of practice [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm calling it a good hit to the head," Bledsoe said. "The dilemma comes in that did I get hit in the head hard? Yeah. Did I close my eyes for a couple seconds? Yeah. When I got up everything looked yellow. But when you come to the sidelines they have a series of questions they ask you to find out how you're functioning, and I was able to answer all the questions about where I was and what I was doing. . . . It was a hit to the head that knocked me out a little bit. As far as defining whether it's a concussion or not, the tests they do to determine whether you're concussed, I passed those."'

Marker Jets likely to be without pass rusher Abraham [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There still were about 3,000 tickets left for Sunday's game, which starts at 4:15 p.m. The tickets must be sold by 4:15 p.m. today for the local blackout to be lifted. The parking lots at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be open four hours before the game at 12:15 p.m. Fans can enter the stadium 90 minutes before kickoff.'

Marker It's still too early to get a handle on last spring's draft picks [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The most productive rookie taken after McGahee in the first round was Nick Barnett (No. 29), who has excelled as Green Bay's middle linebacker. Guard Eric Steinbach, taken by Cincinnati at the top of the second round, has been good for the Bengals. His mobility has helped spring some of Rudi Johnson's runs. The steal of the second round so far was receiver Anquan Boldin to Arizona at No. 54.'

Marker Sloan man admits assisting ex-Bills player with cocaine [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Crafts, arrested Aug. 29 and currently in the Erie County Holding Center, faces a possible 15-year term, but as a first-time offender could be placed on probation, court officials said.'

Marker Bills haven't cleared Bledsoe to play [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I have to practice this week in order to see how things go before I go into the game,” Bledsoe said. “I would say (today or Friday) I’ll practice and based on how I feel then, we’ll determine what to do for the game. I have confidence our (training and medical) staff is going to do the right thing and analyze my situation the right way, and if it’s not safe to play I won’t play.”'

Marker Broken toe sidelines tackle Jennings [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams said that Jennings won’t need surgery, but the injury is “something he won’t be able to play with, so we put him on injured reserve.” Marcus Price, a valuable backup who has stepped in to start for Jennings and for Mike Williams (who missed the Houston game because of a car accident) will get the call for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. “He’s a smart guy and has the ability to play on both sides,” said Williams. “What we’ve got to have is some guys step up.”'

Marker Jets' Pass Rushers Hoping to Repeat Pressure on Bills [5:14 AM]
New York Times reports: 'In five games against the Herman Edwards's Jets, Bledsoe has thrown 1 touchdown pass and 7 interceptions.'

Marker Second that emotion [5:13 AM]
New York Post reports: 'A loss to the 5-7 Bills at this point in the season - just when the Jets are truly starting to believe they're a pretty good team - would be a major setback, not to mention certain elimination from the playoff contention.'

Marker Bledsoe intends to tough it out [5:12 AM]
New York Post reports: 'If Bledsoe is unable to play, Alex Van Pelt, who's thrown 12 passes this season and has a 14.2 rating, would step in.'

Marker Herm's time frame [5:11 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Edwards, who revealed Tuesday that he has compiled a list of areas in which he must improve, said yesterday he may assign a member of the coaching staff the responsibility of clock-management issues during games next season. That is something he will consider during the offseason. It's not uncommon for a head coach to delegate that job to an assistant. In Bill Parcells' days with the Giants, he used running backs coach Ray Handley, a quick-thinking math whiz, as his clock expert.'

Marker Bledsoe may avoid Jet beating [5:10 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Even though they won't admit it publicly, the Jets relish another shot at Bledsoe, who is prone to sacks because he holds the ball longer than most quarterbacks. Asked if Bledsoe is an inviting target, NT Jason Ferguson said, "What makes him more inviting is when you stop (Travis) Henry. That makes them one-dimensional."'

Marker Abraham a Fit at LB? [5:09 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Pro Bowl defensive end has endured a dreadful season in which he can't seem to shake injuries that sidelined him for four of the last five games. Abraham is doubtful again for Sunday's game at Buffalo and has said he might not play again this season.'

Marker Martin makes his yards count [5:08 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'After a slow start that fueled talk he was finished, RB Curtis Martin is just 131 yards shy of becoming the second player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of his first nine seasons. Barry Sanders is the other with 10.'

Marker With escape clause, Edwards holds hammer on Jets [5:07 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Although Edwards has two years remaining on his contract, he has an escape clause allowing him to leave after this season and is expected to exercise that right if he does not receive a two-year extension from owner Woody Johnson, a league official with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.'

Marker Jets try to retain focus [5:06 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: '"We have to be focused, we have to play with poise, we have to play with the same mentality we played with Monday night and I think it will be hard for anybody to beat us,'' running back Curtis Martin said of the 5-7 Jets, who still have a shot at making the playoffs.'

Marker Pennington brilliant in red zone [5:05 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'From the start of last season, including the 2002 playoffs and through Game 12 of this season, Chad Pennington has thrown 27 touchdown passes while working from inside the red zone and has not been intercepted.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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