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Quick Hits: Gaines expected to play Sunday

Posted Sep 13, 2017

There was good news on Buffalo’s injury front, as it appears a starting cornerback will be good to play in Carolina Sunday.


1 – Gaines expected to play Sunday
Bills starting cornerback EJ Gaines left last week’s season opener with a shoulder injury. Labeled a shoulder contusion on Monday by head coach Sean McDermott, Gaines will be able to participate in practice. He also looks like he’ll recover enough to play Sunday at Carolina.

“He’ll be out there (Wednesday) and a little bit limited, but he’ll be out there and should be a go for practice,” said McDermott. “We do (expect him to play Sunday) at this point.”

Buffalo has just four cornerbacks on their active roster counting Gaines. The team released CB Greg Mabin Tuesday to sign free agent LB Jelani Jenkins.

2 – Intel on Carolina rooted in personnel
Head coach Sean McDermott is quick to point out that he will not be playing the game against the Carolina Panthers, his players will. So what he knows about his former team can only be communicated to his players, and then it’s on them to use it to their advantage.

McDermott doesn’t dismiss the significance of it, but it’s the players who must apply it.

“The information I can give them during the week is important,” McDermott told Buffalobills.com. “It’ll be strength and weaknesses of certain matchups and what this player may do better. What this player doesn’t do quite as well. That being said they’re a talented football team and we’ll have our hands full in all three phases.”

The Bills are still putting together a working foundation in their first year under McDermott. The Panthers are a seasoned and battled-tested unit that has experienced great playoff success. They also have a roster that has largely remained intact over several seasons.

“It’s where they are in terms of being seven years in, we’re two weeks in,” said McDermott. “There’s a difference in the life cycle if you will. They’ve been around each other for a long time in terms of the continuity and what comes with that.

“We’re really in the infant stages of that life cycle and we’ve got a long way to go. We’re going to try every week to put our players in position to be successful. That’s our job as coaches. I feel good about a lot of things last week. I really do.

“It’s really how do we continue to evolve as a football team to establish who we are and our identity. Our fundamentals and closing the gap where we need to close the gap from last week.”

3 – Why Jelani Jenkins?
Buffalo added free agent linebacker Jelani Jenkins to their active roster Tuesday. McDermott outlined why Jenkins was an addition they felt was worth making to the team at this time.

“Just the athleticism overall,” said McDermott. “He came from a good system, years ago at the University of Florida and some of the athletic attributes that we look for from our linebackers. He can run and he can diagnose. He’s a very instinctive player, so those are some of the things we saw on tape.”

As for Jenkins’ chance to be in uniform Sunday after what will amount to just four days of practice, McDermott didn’t rule it out as a possibility.

“We’re going to look at that,” he said. “Jelani has played in this league both defensively and on special teams. He’s played outside mostly so that’s where he’ll start off. The important thing now is just acclimating to our system and what we do and getting him comfortable so he can play fast.”

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