NFL notebook: Bills' QB competition altered minus McCarron

By The Sports Xchange
Photo courtesy of the National Football League/Twitter
Photo courtesy of the National Football League/Twitter

The Buffalo Bills' three-player competition to determine their starting quarterback has been reduced to two players, at least for the time being.

AJ McCarron, who started at quarterback for the Bills in Friday's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, suffered a hairline fracture of his collarbone near his right shoulder, the Buffalo News reported. It is unclear how long McCarron will be sidelined, but presumably he will be out for a while.


McCarron completed 3 of 6 passes for 12 yards before leaving the game. In four offensive possessions with McCarron at quarterback, the Bills' first-team offense gained only seven yards and failed to get a first down.

He was sacked in the first quarter but stayed in the game until early in the second quarter.

McCarron has been competing with first-round draft pick Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman for the starting quarterback job.


When McCarron left Friday's game, he was replaced by Allen, who might have improved his chances of becoming the starter.

He led the Bills' first-team offense on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.

--Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is headed back to work.

Gordon announced on his Twitter account that he will rejoin the Browns after completing a health treatment program that has kept him away from the team since the start of training camp.

"Thank you for your love, support, and most importantly your patience as I took the time needed to ensure my overall mental and physical health," Gordon wrote in a tweet. "More specifically, I would like to thank the NFL, NFLPA, the entire Cleveland Browns organization, the University of Florida, and my friend and business manager Michael Johnson Jr for playing such pivotal roles during this process.

"This has by no means been an easy road and I'm extremely grateful to have all of you in my life."

Gordon announced July 23 that he would not attend training camp while he focuses on personal issues that have nearly derailed his NFL career. He had been placed on the reserve/did not report list.


The 27-year-old Gordon has missed the majority of the last three seasons because of suspensions related to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

--Veteran free agent receiver Dez Bryant is not in the Cleveland Browns' immediate plans after he visited the team this week, according to a report.

Bryant left without a contract after visiting the Browns. reports that Bryant is no longer on the front burner, did not come close to reaching an agreement and is not expected to sign with the Browns any time soon.

Bryant, who was not re-signed by Dallas after playing eight years with the Cowboys, reportedly wants to play for a contender.

--Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will take part in 11-on-11 drills during practice beginning Sunday, ESPN reported, citing team sources.

The third-year quarterback was cleared to resume such workouts after meeting with coach Doug Pederson and the team's medical staff, according to ESPN.

Wentz, who tore his ACL and LCL in a December game against the Los Angeles Rams, participated in team drills during the opening week of training camp. However, Eagles coaches then scaled back his workload, keeping him mostly out of team work.


The return of Wentz comes at an opportune time for Philadelphia. Backup Nick Foles, who guided the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship after Wentz went down, suffered a shoulder strain in Thursday's preseason loss to the New England Patriots.

--A week after mentioning the Washington Redskins would not sign a running back to make up for the season-ending knee injured suffered by rookie Derrius Guice, coach Jay Gruden said the team is working out running backs and may sign somebody Sunday.

Too many injuries at the position have forced Gruden to look toward the free agent market.

The latest running back to become injured is rookie undrafted player Martez Carter, who has suffered from hamstring problems in the preseason.

The injury kept him from playing in the preseason opener two weeks ago. He played Thursday against the New York Jets and led the Redskins with 45 yards rushing, including a 30-yard run, on seven carries.

Fellow running backs Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall left the Jets game early because of ankle injuries. The Redskins now have only three healthy running backs in Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs.


The Redskins also waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson, who were signed by the team a week ago. The team also signed three players -- tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary and receiver Allenzae Staggers.

--The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent safety Robenson Therezie and released defensive tackle Caraun Reid, the team announced.

Therezie did not play last season, although he had a brief stint on the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals, who cut him in May.

Therezie, a 5-foot-9, 212-pound undrafted free agent out of Auburn, appeared in 12 games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, making one tackle.

Therezie saw his most extensive playing time with the Falcons as a rookie in 2015, appearing in 12 games and making a pair of starts. He had 31 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed.

He also has been on the rosters of the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Bengals over the past year.

Reid saw action in only one game last season with the Detroit Lions, the team that drafted him in the fifth round out of Princeton in 2014.


--The Buffalo Bills are hopeful that defensive tackle Kyle Williams avoided a serious knee injury in Friday's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.

The team is awaiting the results of an MRI exam, but the NFL Network reported that the injury did not involve Williams' ACL.

Williams was hurt during a running play but was able to limp off the field. He left the stadium wearing a full-length brace on his leg, according to Pro Football Talk. He had one tackle in the contest, a 19-17 victory for the Bills.

The 35-year-old has been a mainstay on the defensive line for Buffalo since the team drafted him in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of LSU.

Williams started all 16 games in 2017, the sixth time in his 12 NFL seasons with the Bills that he has started every game. He had 41 tackles and three sacks while playing both tackle positions.

The 6-foot-1, 305-pounder has collected 43.5 sacks in 167 regular-season games (162 starts) with Buffalo.

Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, established a career high with 10.5 sacks in 2013. He has started at least 14 games in nine of his 12 seasons.


--Rookie Baker Mayfield did not match the numbers of his NFL debut, but the Cleveland Browns were more than satisfied with his performance in their second preseason game.

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, was in on six possessions and finished 7 of 13 for 75 yards in Cleveland's 19-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.

Although the stats paled in comparison to the preseason opener, when Mayfield threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner still had impressive moments in rainy conditions while playing before the home fans for the first time.

Mayfield had two touchdown passes negated -- one because of a penalty and another via replay -- but produced 10 points on his final two drives of the night.

"It was great to get in front of your own crowd for the first time," said Mayfield, per "That's just how it is always is. We did some things well and showed our potential a little bit, but it was good to get out there in front of them, even if the weather was not that great. It was good."


Mayfield had a 2-yard scoring pass to Derrick Willies wiped out by a pass interference call and another short pass to Willies overturned by replay, but the Browns still came away with a field goal and a TD on the two drives.

--Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook did not play in this week's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cook, whose rookie season ended with an ACL tear, was out of the game for precautionary reasons, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

The Vikings have said that Cook is fully healthy and announced before training camp that the second-year back will not face any limitations.

Cook also sat out Minnesota's preseason opener. Latavius Murray, who took over the starting job after Cook was hurt last season, started against Jacksonville.

Cook, 23, a second-round pick out of Florida State in the 2017 NFL Draft, burst onto the scene by rushing for 127 yards on 22 carries in his professional debut.

--The Philadelphia Eagles dripped into the Arena League to bolster their injury-riddled wide receiver corps.


The Eagles signed wide receiver Darius Prince and waived defensive tackle Adam Reth, the team announced.

Prince played for the Philadelphia Soul the past two seasons, leading the Arena League with 89 receptions and finishing second with 1,076 yards in 2018. He also had 24 receiving touchdowns.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Prince, who did not play football in college, made a splashy entrance into the league with the Soul during the 2017 playoffs.

In his Arena League debut, Prince had 76 yards receiving and a score in the playoff semifinals and followed that up with a pair of touchdowns to earn MVP honors in Arena Bowl XXX.

The 28-year-old Prince played basketball collegiately at Penn State-Greater Allegheny and at Penn State-Beaver, averaging 12.7 points with the latter school in 2011.

--The San Francisco 49ers announced they have re-signed defensive back Dexter McCoil to a one-year deal after placing safety Terrell Williams Jr. on the injured reserve list.

McCoil (6 feet 4, 220 pounds) originally joined the 49ers in 2017 after the team claimed him off waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 9, 2017. He went on to appear in eight games for San Francisco and registered one tackle. McCoil was waived by the team April 30, 2018.


Williams Jr. (6-4, 212) originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Houston on April 30, 2018.

McCoil played in the Arena League and CFL before joining the Chargers in 2016. He had 25 tackles and an interception while appearing in every game that year but was released after two games in the 2017 season. He was claimed off waivers by the 49ers and had four tackles in eight games after the move.

Williams joined the Niners on the same day that McCoil was waived.

Williams hurt his knee during a joint practice last week with the Houston Texans. He hit the concrete along the side of the practice field after going down at the end of a play during one-on-one coverage drills. The injury was severe enough that Williams had to be carted off the field.

--The Green Bay Packers placed running back Akeem Judd on the reserve/retired list and signed LeShun Daniels as his replacement.

Daniels, a 5-foot-11, 222-pound second-year player, originally signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa on May 5, 2017. After being waived by the Patriots on Sept. 2, 2017, he spent some time on the practice squads of the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Redskins before Washington promoted him to the active roster Nov. 21, 2017.


Daniels played four games for the Redskins before placed on injured reserve Dec. 23, 2017 with a hand injury. He was released by Washington on March 30.

Judd, who signed with the Packers on Aug. 6, posted five carries for three yards in Thursday's preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. His longest run was four yards.

He accumulated 22 yards on 11 carries through two preseason games. He had an 11-yard run last week in the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans but gained only 19 yards on six carries.

Judd, 25, was in his second season in the NFL after playing at Ole Miss. He was on the Jets' roster last season but did not play.

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