Bills sign Taiwan Jones

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The Bills have added some depth to their backfield and special teams.

Taiwan Jones, the running back and kick returner who was cut by the Raiders before training camp, has signed with Buffalo.

A fourth-round draft pick of the Raiders in 2011, Jones has played his entire six-year career in Oakland. He has primarily been a special teams player but also has 183 career rushing yards, 240 career receiving yards and has even played some cornerback. He also played both cornerback and running back in college at Eastern Washington.

In Buffalo, Jones will compete for playing time behind LeSean McCoy in the backfield, and he’ll also compete with Brandon Tate to be the top kickoff returner.

Marcell Dareus: “I have something to prove” this year

AP

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has invited the skepticism of his fans, by missing time and being inconsistent.

But after returning from a hamstring injury that cost him a few days of camp practices, the veteran lineman said he wasn’t worried about the negativity.

“I don’t even think about them; I have no time, I have no space in my mind,” Dareus said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “I have a season, I have to get prepared for my teammates, and I know they’re doing the best for me. I’m just going to continue to put one foot in front of the other, and just stay focused.”

The spotlight shines a little brighter Dareus because of his contract and the expectations the money brings. And last year, he fell far short of those expectations, missing eight games because of a suspension and injuries.

“I have something to prove to myself and to my teammates and the fans,” Dareus said. “I just want to do my best. Me doing my best I know is good enough.”

The early returns from the new coaching staff have been positive, and if he’s on the field and focused he has shown he can be a dominant player. Now staying there is the issue, and a short-term hamstring pull seems to have taken care of itself.

Bills using Zay Jones outside and inside

AP

When considering which rookies will make an impact in 2017, it’s hard to overlook Bills wideout Zay Jones.

The second-round pick, who could quickly become the No. 2 receiver on the roster behind Sammy Watkins, will be getting plenty of chances to show what he can do.

“He’s working at two different positions,” coach Sean McDermott told reporters on Monday. “He’s working outside and then he’s working inside in the slot. You don’t find a lot of young receivers that can manage the mental part of the game that way. He’s had a nice camp to date. I like how he’s catching the football and you watch him get better and better each day in understanding the system and understanding what it’s going to take to play at this level. He’s done a nice job.”

It’s still to early to know what kind of job he’ll do when the regular season begins. But versatility means more opportunities to contribute and, in turn, more opportunities to have an impact.

Marcell Dareus back at practice Tuesday

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The Bills practiced without defensive tackle Marcell Dareus over the weekend due to a hamstring injury, but said that they weren’t “overly concerned” about his condition moving forward.

Monday was a day off and it seems the extra day of rest did Dareus some good. Bills coach Sean McDermott said at his Tuesday press conference that Dareus will be back on the field with his teammates.

McDermott said Dareus will be limited on Tuesday and that may be the case for another day or two as the team works to make sure that there’s no setbacks that keep a key part of their defense out for an extended period. That’s a particular concern with hamstring injuries should a player push too far too fast after returning to action.

McDermott also said that running back LeSean McCoy will sit on Tuesday because he “got a bug overnight” and that the team will rest center Eric Wood and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.

Monday morning one-liners

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S Micah Hyde is serving as a leader in the Bills secondary.

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was a guest at Dolphins practice.

Patriots WR Brandin Cooks discussed his touchdown celebration.

The Jets like what they’ve seen from their rookie safeties.

WR Tim White’s play was a highlight of Sunday’s Ravens practice.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton and his son worked with WR John Ross at the end of practice.

The Browns made a change to their offensive line group.

LB Tyler Matakevich is trying to make an impression on the Steelers.

Texans WR Will Fuller has shown signs of improvement.

The Colts flipped their guards as they look for the right offensive line alignment.

Rookie CB Jalen Myrick’s first week of Jaguars training camp didn’t go as hoped.

The Titans didn’t hold rookie WR Corey Davis back on his first day of practice.

CB Lorenzo Doss is trying to find more playing time for the Broncos.

WR Tyreek Hill is in line for a bigger role with the Chiefs this season.

The Raiders will wear pads for the first time on Monday.

Chargers QB Cardale Jones is looking forward to learning from Philip Rivers.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten got some advice from Jerry Rice.

CB Janoris Jenkins’ anger flared at Giants camp.

Undrafted Eagles rookie CB Randall Goforth tore his ACL.

Tracing how TE E.J. Bibbs made his way to the Redskins.

A look at how some younger Bears players prepared for their second NFL seasons.

Lions G T.J. Lang is feeling the best he’s felt in years.

Packers DL Mike Daniels wants Green Bay’s defense to take a page from the Seahawks.

Vikings QB Sam Bradford and WR Laquon Treadwell are working on their chemistry.

The Falcons got S Ricardo Allen back on the practice field.

Said Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker of QB Cam Newton, “To me, you wouldn’t have even known that he had surgery in the offseason and that he’s still going through the recovery process.”

Saints coach Sean Payton reminisced about former Saint Rob Ninkovich upon his retirement from the Patriots.

Checking in on the Buccaneers kicker competition.

QB Trevor Knight is trying to show the Cardinals he belongs in the NFL.

A positive review of Rams QB Sean Mannion’s early work at camp.

DL Arik Armstead appears to be taking to his new role on the 49ers defense.

Will this be S Kam Chancellor’s final season with the Seahawks?

Bills will hold Marcell Dareus out of practice for second day

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When Bills coach Sean McDermott disclosed to reporters the hamstring injury suffered by defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on Saturday morning, McDermott expressed hope that Dareus would be able to practice that same day. He didn’t.

On Sunday morning, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier told reporters that Dareus will miss another day of practice.

Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Frazier said the Bills are simply being cautious with Dareus, and that the team has nothing to be “overly concerned about.”

Injuries happen routinely in camp, with hamstring strains being a common condition for guys working to get in football shape. The challenge becomes giving the hamstring enough rest, or the problem will linger, and potentially become aggravated.

Sunday morning one-liners

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DE Shaq Lawson is off to a good start at Bills camp.

Dolphins CB Byron Maxwell likes what he’s seen from QB Ryan Tannehill.

CB Eric Rowe has impressed at Patriots practices.

Is DE Leonard Williams the most important player on the Jets?

WR Griff Whalen is trying to make a quick impression on the Ravens.

It’s been almost a year since Bengals CB William Jackson tore his pectoral.

Browns TE David Njoku has to do a better job of holding onto the football.

CB Artie Burns hopes covering WR Antonio Brown at Steelers practice helps him improve.

Texans WR Braxton Miller has high expectations for the 2017 season.

Colts DE David Parry has off-field issues while he tries to stake a claim to an on-field role.

Jaguars WR Allen Robinson hopes his offseason work makes 2016 a distant memory.

A new contract means new expectations for Titans DT Jurrell Casey.

The Broncos brought DT Domata Peko in to provide some heft to their defensive line.

LB Kevin Pierre-Louis is looking forward to getting settled with the Chiefs.

Raiders players hope for a quick resolution to T Donald Penn’s holdout.

Kobe Bryant dropped by Chargers training camp.

QB Luke McCown thinks he can be more than a camp arm for the Cowboys.

Giants S Landon Collins’ profile has grown over the last year.

Eagles TE Zach Ertz discussed his foray into nude modeling.

Was the Redskins’ offseason roster turnover a step in the right direction?

Bears rookie TE Adam Shaheen made a good first impression.

Reasons for concern about the Lions defensive line.

The Packers are looking for more from DT Kenny Clark.

Marcus Sherels feels he can handle kickoff and punt returns for the Vikings.

Said Falcons coach Dan Quinn of the first day in pads, “They want to go against each other so hard. We walk that fine line as competitors. We always want to take care of one another, but do it at the very best way we can. We’ll work on that.”

Panthers LB Shaq Thompson lost weight this offseason.

WR Corey Fuller’s confidence is rising at Saints practices.

Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston tried out a brace on his left knee.

A breakdown of the Cardinals’ Red-White practice.

Rams WR Tavon Austin is working on the field after his offseason wrist surgery.

CB Rashard Robinson and WR Marquise Goodwin have gone from talking trash last year to sharing the field for the 49ers this year.

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett and CB DeShawn Shead are working their way back from injuries.

Marcell Dareus has a hamstring injury

AP

With training camps open, plenty of football players not currently in football shape will suffer football injuries while trying to get there.

In Buffalo, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has suffered an injured hamstring.

Coach Sean McDermott disclosed the injury to reporters on Saturday, explaining it happened near the end of Friday’s practice. He said the veteran’s status is “up in the air” for now.

“Any time players miss time, you get concerned,” McDermott said. “Whether it’s Marcell or anyone else really for that matter. I’m going to stay positive with it and he’s done a great job of being in shape at this point in camp and has really handled things well so we’ll see how this unfolds.”

It unfolded with Dareus not practicing on Saturday. He’ll presumably be day-to-day until it heals. Which is always the biggest challenge with a hamstring injury — letting it heal.

Feeling young at 29, Shady thinks he’ll play until he’s 33

AP

The highest-paid running back in the NFL currently is Bills running back LeSean McCoy. At 29, he’s one of the older workhorse tailbacks, too.

He plans to hold the latter distinction for a while.

I feel good,” McCoy told reporters on Friday after the issue of his 29th birthday came up. “I feel the same. I feel young. I feel 25. Making the same runs, same cuts. I feel good. Explosive. That’s my game being explosive and quick. So when that kind of turns and then leaves, then I’ll be in trouble. But for now, I feel fine. I could keep doing this ’til I’m about 33 man.”

Why 33?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I thought about just playing 10 years in the NFL and getting to 30 and that’s easy. I’m going to have a good year this year, we’re going to win some games. That’s easy, 30, ten years. So you look past that. I’m chasing something that I didn’t think I could do coming in. I set a mark and I feel like I passed that mark so I’m just trying to move on.”

One of the things that fuels McCoy is his lingering love of the game.

“I look at a lot of players who left the game early and I’m sure they think about it, if they should have stayed or could or would,” McCoy said. “But I love this game. I’ve been playing this game all my life, you know, and it’s brought me a lot. You know so I’ll have fun with it. We have a good team here, a good coach in Sean [McDermott] and the guys around him. So, I’m very positive about this year. I look forward to it.”

His finds motivation in that fact that “[i]t seems like everyone is against us and we don’t have a shot,” along with trying to get a rushing title. McCoy also made it clear that he has changed his diet and other things in order to get the most out of his aging body. He declined to reveal his secrets, other than to say he now spends the offseason “watching what I eat, limit the drinks and the long nights.”

Whatever he did last year, it worked. He had nearly 1,300 yards rushing and 5.4 yards per carry, along with 14 total touchdowns and 50 catches.

After trading Cardale Jones, Bills think they’re set at quarterback

AP

The Buffalo Bills think they have all the quarterbacks they need.

After trading Cardale Jones to the Chargers, Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said he’s set with Tyrod Taylor as the starter, T.J. Yates as the veteran backup and Nathan Peterman as the rookie who will learn on the job.

“Right now we’re planning to go with these three,” Beane said, via the Buffalo News. “You never rule anything out. Anything that can help our roster, we’re always looking at, but right now we’re good with three.”

Asked about Colin Kaepernick, Beane said he’s not a consideration.

“Obviously Colin, he’s had great success in the past,” Beane said. “I’ve not looked into him or anything like that. We’ve had plenty of quarterbacks here. I like the mesh of the three that we have. We liked Cardale, but our our goal right now is just to let these three go and see how it goes at camp.”

Whether the Bills have their long-term starter remains to be seen, but they have their 2017 quarterbacks in place, and they’re not expecting that to change.

Adolphus Washington: I learned from my mistake

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Bills defensive tackle Adolphus Washington spoke to reporters at the team’s training camp on Thursday and his recent arrest for improperly carrying a concealed weapon was the favored topic.

Washington is accused of reaching for and displaying a gun in front of police officers in the parking lot of a water park in Ohio and a video of the incident features an officer telling Washington that he’s lucky the situation didn’t escalate once he brandished the weapon. On Thursday, Washington said he was thankful things did not go that way and that he has “learned from my mistakes.”

“Probably just the environment that I go in,” Washington said, via the Buffalo News. “I’m young. Don’t make mistakes, just gotta learn from it.”

Bills coach Sean McDermott and General Manager Brandon Beane also expressed relief that no one was hurt during the incident and disappointment in Washington’s arrest, although they said the player has done a good job of communicating with them about what happened.

Washington pleaded not guilty to the charge and his attorney said he does not believe Washington committed any crime, something that Washington did not address while talking to the media.

Friday morning one-liners

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Preston Brown worked at middle linebacker with the Bills starters on Thursday.

The Dolphins have competition for one of their linebacker jobs.

It wasn’t always certain it would work out that way, but CB Malcolm Butler was on the field for the Patriots as camp opened.

The Jets start camp with low expectations.

RB Bobby Rainey is back for a second run with the Ravens.

Said Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap, “I feel like I’ve got a lot of ball left and I look forward to making these next few years my best. I’ve had some good ball up to this point, but I still feel like I have a lot of room for growth.”

Facing off with T Joe Thomas will help Browns DE Myles Garrett learn about life in the NFL.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown arrived at training camp in a Rolls-Royce.

Texans CB Kevin Johnson is feeling good after last year’s foot injury.

Colts CB Vontae Davis is heading into a contract year.

CB A.J. Bouye had a good day in his first day at Jaguars training camp.

The Titans secondary looks significantly different from last year.

The Broncos have their first padded practice on Sunday.

Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman reported to training camp in costume.

Ten questions for the Raiders to answer during training camp.

The Chargers waived QB Eli Jenkins with Cardale Jones joining the team.

CB Anthony Brown picked off Dak Prescott during Cowboys practice.

The Giants are banking on improvement from holdover offensive linemen.

Eagles LB Nigel Bradham is waiting to hear if he’ll be suspended.

QB Kirk Cousins reiterated that he’s in a “good place” after failing to strike a long-term deal with the Redskins.

Bears LB Danny Trevathan is practicing in limited fashion after tearing his patellar tendon last season.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford picked up a new house in Georgia.

P Justin Vogel got off to a good start at Packers camp.

Vikings WR Michael Floyd is trying to keep the focus on football.

CB Desmond Trufant thinks the Falcons can have one of the best defenses in the league.

CB Captain Munnerlyn is happy to be back with the Panthers.

Is the 2017 season a crossroads one for the Saints?

Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson went with a Ferrari for his entry to training camp.

The Cardinals are looking for different results from the same names on their offensive line.

Rams TE Gerald Everett doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan wants the offense playing fast.

Which Seahawks are next up for contract extensions?

Sammy Watkins tired of hearing about foot

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Bills receiver Sammy Watkins pronounced his surgically repaired left foot fully healed. Thanks for asking.

“My job is really to get back in shape and be out there with the guys,” Watkins said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “I don’t want to hear no more about the foot. The foot is fine. I’m healed.”

Watkins, who has undergone two surgeries on his foot in 15 months, was limited in the team’s first practice Thursday. The Bills have him on a “rep count” during training camp.

Watkins, the fourth overall pick in 2014, has only one 1,000-yard season as injuries have limited him. He had broken ribs as a rookie, hip surgery in the 2015 offseason and missed three games that season with shin and ankle injuries. Watkins’ foot injury kept him out of eight games last season.

The Bills declined Watkins’ $13.3 million fifth-year contract option for the 2018 season. Thus, he is scheduled for unrestricted free agency in the offseason.

“I’m not concerned about that,” Watkins said. “That’s the coaches and the owner. My job is go out there and earn it, and play, and stay healthy. That’s my goal this year.”

In 37 games, he has 153 receptions for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Bills to manage Sammy Watkins’ practice reps

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Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins avoided the physically unable to perform list to start camp, but he’s not ready for a full workload yet.

Watkins had foot surgery this offseason and coach Sean McDermott said on Thursday that the team has put together a plan to monitor Watkins’ workload in hopes of avoiding more problems in the future.

“We’ve put together a rep count that will build up and at times come down a little bit just based off of the plan from the outset,” McDermott said, via the team’s website. “But we’ve got to be flexible with that and see how he feels and that starts tonight.”

Watkins’ ability to stay healthy is important to the Buffalo offense and to Watkins, who is entering the final year of his contract after the team opted not to exercise their option on his contract for 2018.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn doesn’t have the same contract issue, but he’s in the same boat as Watkins when it comes to his workload early in camp. Ankle issues cost him five games last year and McDermott said his reps will also be managed closely as the Bills get to work this summer.

RGIII workout may have helped Chargers land Cardale Jones

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When word emerged of the Chargers working out quarterback Robert Griffin III, the motivation for it wasn’t clear. When someone with the Chargers leaked to ESPN that Griffin looked good, the motivation for it wasn’t clear. When the Chargers didn’t sign Griffin after such a supposedly good workout, the motivation for it wasn’t clear.

On Wednesday, it all became clear when the Chargers traded for quarterback Cardale Jones.

Griffin was the leverage for the Chargers in their talks with the Bills. Bringing Griffin in for a workout and leaking a positive review to ESPN made it clear to Buffalo that the Chargers had an alternative, in the event that Buffalo tried to put a thumb on the scale and get more from a guy who probably was on the way out if there hadn’t been a trade.

So why would Griffin allow himself to be used in this way? He likely didn’t know that the Chargers were trying to get Jones from the Bills. Even if Griffin had known what was happening, the workout knocked the dust off his name for the first time in months, reminding all other teams that he still exists.

Thus, it was a win-win-win. The Chargers got a quarterback they want, the Bills got rid of one they didn’t want, and Griffin got his name in circulation.

And maybe the Bills will be interested in giving Griffin his next workout. Right before they trade for someone else.