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A position-by-position look at Bills roster

Posted Sep 4, 2013

Just before the start of the regular season, here's a brief look at the Bills roster.

After some last minute shuffling, again due to injury, the Bills coaching staff and GM Doug Whaley have their 53-man roster (PHOTOS). Here’s a closer look at how the roster breaks down, position by position.

Quarterback (2)
Starter: EJ Manuel
Backup: Jeff Tuel
Summary: The Bills placed Kevin Kolb on injured reserve and released late pickups Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis. Lewis after clearing waivers was signed to the practice squad.

Buffalo’s coaches chose to go with just two quarterbacks on their active roster, both of whom are rookies. Head coach Doug Marrone said experience at the position will have to be provided by himself and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

Running back (4)
Starter: C.J. Spiller
Backups: Fred Jackson, Tashard Choice, Frank Summers
Summary: As GM Doug Whaley said himself, Spiller will be the focal point of the offense. Jackson will still see a good bit of work in what is expected to be a high-play count attack. Choice and Summers will see most of their work on special teams, though Summers figures to see some lead blocking work as the team’s only fullback.

Wide receiver (6)
Starters: Stevie Johnson, T.J. Graham, Robert Woods
Backups: Marquise Goodwin, Marcus Easley, Chris Hogan
Summary: Johnson will work as the primary slot receiver with Graham the primary boundary wideout. Woods will line up just about anywhere in three-wide sets. Goodwin is the first player on the field in four-wide looks.

Tight end (3)
Starter: Scott Chandler
Backups: Lee Smith, Chris Gragg
Summary: Chandler has made great progress coming back from offseason ACL surgery and is all systems go for the start of the regular season. Smith is the primary blocking tight end, but this coaching staff has a lot more faith in his receiving ability than the previous staff. Gragg will learn on the job.

Offensive line (8)
Starters: Cordy Glenn, Colin Brown, Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik, Erik Pears
Backups: Doug Legursky, Thomas Welch, Sam Young
Summary: The only change up front from a season ago is LG Colin Brown, who beat out Legursky for the starting job. Legursky is currently injured leaving Young as the primary backup at both offensive tackle and guard. Buffalo is likely to add another lineman to the active roster, but it may have been compromised by the need to sign an additional kicker.

Defensive line (8)
Starters: Alex Carrington, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams
Backups: Alan Branch, Corbin Bryant, Jerry Hughes, Jay Ross
Summary: The front four is among the more talented in the league, but with a myriad of packages, Branch and Hughes will see a lot of snaps as rotational players.

Linebackers (6)
Starters: Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham, Manny Lawson
Backups: Marcus Dowtin, Arthur Moats, Jamaal Westerman
Summary: Alonso should become a playmaker in this defense with true sideline to sideline range. All three backups could be factors in subpackages particularly Dowtin, who has lined up both inside and outside.

Cornerbacks (6)
Starters: Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin
Backups: Ron Brooks, Brandon Burton, Nickell Robey, Justin Rogers
Summary: Gilmore will be out until Week 5 at the least following wrist surgery. Rogers will start in his place for now opposite McKelvin. Robey and Brooks are the primary slot corners.

Safeties (6)
Starters: Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams
Backups: Jim Leonhard, Jonathan Meeks, Da’Norris Searcy, Duke Williams
Summary: Byrd arrived after training camp concluded and is dealing with a nagging foot injury so Searcy is the likely replacement. Leonhard was signed just a couple of days ago and will provide valuable veteran experience.

Specialists (4)
Starters: Dustin Hopkins, Shawn Powell, Garrison Sanborn
Backups: Dan Carpenter
Summary: Hopkins won the kicking job over veteran Rian Lindell, but a reported groin injury prompted the team to sign free agent veteran Dan Carpenter to handle kicking duties for the interim.