Kevin Kolb returned to the team Thursday night and participated in the team's Friday morning walk through. On Friday night however, it was evident his injured left knee was not 100 percent healthy and after individual position drills he retired to the locker room with a member of the athletic training staff for treatment.
Head coach Doug Marrone pointed to a few factors that kept Kolb limited for the final full practice prior to Buffalo's preseason opener at Indianapolis.
"The travel I think makes you a little sore, not having the treatment being away for a couple of days because of a personal issue," said Marrone. "I think that it's a little tight. I think if we wanted to push it he could go out there and play, if we wanted to make that decision, but that wouldn't be in the best interest of player safety."
Marrone labeled Kolb a game time decision, but essentially made it sound like he'll only be an emergency quarterback Sunday.
"He is going to dress and he is going to be there and knock on wood if we do need one we'll put him in there and he'll just be handing the ball off and not put him in jeopardy," he said.
More work for Manuel, TuelWith Kolb's evening shortened by his freak knee injury it once again meant more work for rookie quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel. Through the course of the week both quarterbacks have performed admirably. Both are still making their way through some challenging looks presented by Mike Pettine's defense, but they're each taking steps forward when it comes to running the offense.
"Going against our defense, seeing all types of looks and still having to declare the 'mike' (linebackers) and get protections correct," said Manuel. "If you can still do it against our guys, like I've said before, it should be fine."
Jeff Tuel knows he's been fortunate to get all the reps he's received over the past week with Kolb absent, and feels he's done everything he could to take advantage of the extra time on the field.
"It's exciting I'm having a lot of fun out here. I'm just really taking it a day at a time and getting better a day at a time so when I get in there I can execute at a high level," Tuel said.
Both Manuel and Tuel had their moments during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 red zone periods. Tuel had touchdown passes to Dorin Dickerson, fellow rookie Chris Gragg and Da'Rick Rogers, who made an entertaining one-handed catch on his way to the pylon in the front right corner of the end zone.
Manuel found Robert Woods and Scott Chandler with touchdown passes.
"EJ is doing fine," said Marrone. "He makes mistakes just like veteran guys make mistakes. The difference with him is he rarely makes the same mistake twice. He comes back and whatever mistake he made the day before he's shown he's been able to go out there and not make the same mistake. And that's the quality we're looking for. When you're going out there and competing I think he's done a very good job. I'm very pleased with him and I'm very pleased with Jeff."
McKelvin, Brad Smith sidelinedLeodis McKelvin was sidelined for the third straight practice with what's now been termed a groin injury. The good news is it isn't the side of his groin that was surgically repaired this offseason.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the surgery," said Marrone. "It's the opposite situation for him. At first it was just sore. He did get rid of the soreness and he saw the doctor tonight so again it'll just be an evaluation process until we hear from the doctors."
McKelvin told reporters that his groin problem is due to overcompensation for the surgically repaired side of his groin. No timetable was provided on how long he'll be sidelined, but Marrone did rule him out of Sunday's preseason opener.
Brad Smith was sidelined for the first time in training camp Friday night with an undisclosed injury. He too has been ruled out of Sunday's preseason opener.
Two minute drillEJ Manuel ran the first two-minute drill for the offense, but the defense had the better of the play. After a C.J. Spiller run and a short reception by Chris Gragg on the right side, Manuel threw two straight incompletions, which led to a four-and-out series for the first unit.
The second unit under the guidance of Jeff Tuel also went four-and-out. Following a first down carry by Tashard Choice, Arthur Moats blew up a screen play to Choice tapping him out for a tackle for loss.
Kourtnei Brown then followed with a would-be sack as he came flying off the right side of the defensive formation.
Tuel threw a desperation pass down the left sideline intended for Brandon Kaufman, but he broke off his route early and the looping pass was easily intercepted by rookie safety Jonathan Meeks.
The third unit for the offense finally got the job done for the offense. Tuel converted a third down pass to move the chains with a completion to Robert Woods along the right sideline for a first down.
He converted another third down with a throw to the right again this time to DeMarco Sampson to move into the defense's territory.
Tuel got a fresh set of downs with a completion to Kaufman on the left side. After a holding call led to a 1st-and-20 Kendall Gaskins got some of the yardage back on a catch out of the backfield and Sampson made a nice play along the near sideline on a 15-yard catch to convert a 3rd-and-14 with 12 seconds on the game clock.
"I feel really good," said Tuel. "The receivers have done a phenomenal job. The offensive line has too. Like I said, I want to get better every day. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable from this week. I feel good."
The offense brought on Rian Lindell for a game-winning 50-yard field goal. Lindell's kick went dead center and bounced through off the crossbar to end practice with a victory for the offense.
Lineup notesNickell Robey got first team cornerback reps on the boundary with Leodis McKelvin sidelined and Ron Brooks lined up in the slot in the first team nickel package.
Colin Brown for the second straight day lined up at the starting left guard spot. Doug Legursky ran with the second unit, which is how they're likely to line up Sunday against Indianapolis.
LB Chris White and CB Don Unamba got some second team reps, but it appeared to be a specific package in Mike Pettine's defensive scheme.
Powell's best dayIn the battle for the punting job incumbent Shawn Powell may have put together his most consistent day of kicking Friday night. Kicking mainly from his own half of the field between the 32 and 41-yard lines Powell kicked anywhere from 49 to 63 yards with hang times consistently above 4.3 seconds. His best hang time was an unofficial 4.72 seconds.
Stahovich had one mis-hit attempt among his five attempts. His best kicks were a 50 and 53-yarder with unofficial hang times of 4.64 and 4.56 seconds. He also had a long kick of 61 yards with an unofficial hang time of 4.1.
ScheduleThe Bills have a walk through scheduled for Saturday morning before they depart out of Rochester for Indianapolis for their preseason opener Sunday at 1:30 pm. Your starting QB for Sunday, EJ Manuel. RT and favorite if you like the sound of that. pic.twitter.com/gDCfI0Usro
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 10, 2013