Here's the Bills news of note for Dec. 1st.
**1 - Dareus expected to play Sunday
**It's been a star-crossed season for Marcell Dareus. A suspension followed by hamstring and groin injuries have limited him to just three games played this season. Last Sunday however, was Dareus' best performance of the season (8 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits). Unfortunately he was held out of the last few series of the game due to an abdominal strain.
The good news is Dareus was back on the practice field Wednesday, albeit in a limited capacity. Head coach Rex Ryan believes his defensive tackle will be fit to play Sunday in Oakland barring any setbacks.
"I think he's going to be okay. He's limited," said Ryan. "I'm no doctor so I can't tell you the issue that he had, but he feels confident that he's going to be ready to roll and I feel the same way."
Ryan indicated that Dareus wanted to go back into the game last Sunday, but was held out by the athletic training staff.
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2 - No concern about pass game productionThe Bills have had the lowest ranked passing game in the league for a few weeks now. Both head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Tyrod Taylor have been asked about the lack of production and if there needs to be more balance.
"Of course you want to come out of the game with those 300-yard games," said Taylor. "But like I've said from day one I'll do whatever it takes to win games. We might be last in passing right now… can we be better? Yes, but we're also in the playoff picture and ultimately that's what you want moving forward to keep winning games.
"Whatever that formula is week to week is going to be different. Some game we'll have the opportunity to run the football and some weeks we'll need to have more of a passing game, but we'll just to take it week to week."
Buffalo does have the widest contrast a club could have between the success of their run game (ranked 1st) and pass game (ranked 32nd). The question is whether that is a viable way to win consistently in the NFL.
"I think the big thing is I just want to win," Ryan said. "I think sometimes pass efficiency is kind of overlooked. Our style isn't as pretty, and we don't throw as much as other teams. Our plan where if you lead the league in rushing and you're number one in rushing average, we are going to run the football more than other teams will.
"Do we need to pass? We are going to find out. But everything we do is to try and win. If we need to run it 50 times, then so be it. If we have to throw it 50 times, then that's what we will do also."
Oakland is ranked 28th in the NFL against the pass and not much better against the run (26th), so there could very well be opportunities to produce in both areas for Buffalo's offense Sunday.
3 - Logan Thomas takes on learning curveIt's not often that an NFL club uses a roster spot on a strict developmental prospect, but Buffalo had such an opportunity after Seantrel Henderson was placed on the reserve/suspended list in the wake of his 10-game suspension for violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
The Bills used their open roster spot to sign TE Logan Thomas off the Detroit Lions practice squad. Thomas is new to the position after he was made a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals as a quarterback.
Thomas actually succeeded Tyrod Taylor at the position at Virginia Tech. The two have known each other for a long time. In fact prior to signing with the Bills, Thomas spoke with Taylor.
"Me and Logan have kept in touch," said Taylor. "I got a chance to talk to him prior to him signing here," said Tyrod Taylor. "As far as him making the transition I know he's a very athletic guy. He's a guy that can always catch. I believe he caught a touchdown for me against Wake Forest. Just athletic guy and he's ready to compete. I'm excited about having him here."
Thomas played a little receiver at Virginia Tech before taking over the offense after Taylor graduated. He also has some tight end experience going back to his high school days, but he knows he's got a lot to learn now that he's with the Bills.
"You get taught in little league, high school and college and the NFL and a lot of people like it different ways, but you break it down to the bare bones with anybody," said Thomas. "So I'm diving into that to learn it more and more and get better and better."
"He's got the 6-6 height and he's very athletic and you can tell he wants to learn to block and let's take a chance on a guy like this," said head coach Rex Ryan. "Is it a project? Certainly it's a project. I don't anticipate him doing anything right now. He doesn't know the plays or anything. But let's see what we've got and take a shot at developing this young man."
Buffalo has taken on such projects before, some with success like George Wilson who flipped from wide receiver to safety and some not so much like with Canisius college basketball player Chris Manhertz.