Poyer limited; Clay, Gaines still sidelinedThe Bills have a short turnaround before their next game Thursday night against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. That's not helping in terms of recovery time for some of Buffalo's injured players.
Safety Jordan Poyer, who sat out Sunday's game with a knee injury however, is trying to work his way back into the lineup.
"He's made some good progress to this point. He'll be listed as limited today," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We'll just see and take it one day at a time right now."
Though the team had just a walk-through late Monday afternoon, the Bills have to provide an estimate of what injured players' participation in practice would be if it were a full session. Hence Poyer's designation as a limited participant.
Poyer's replacement in Sunday's game certainly fared well as Trae Elston led the team in tackles with 11.
Also trying to get back to full health are E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and Charles Clay (knee), but both would not have been fit to participate in a full practice at all, so they were listed as non-participants.
For the healthier players who got through Sunday's game, the challenge is to get their bodies re-tuned in just three days' time.
"Number one is to get as fresh as possible, mind, body and spirit, get those in the right spot and then just to make sure we understand our plan," McDermott said. "Just in terms of the game plan for the week."
No awards for 5-2As encouraging as a 5-2 start to the season might be for the Bills, coach McDermott doesn't want any complacency to creep in with his team. That's why he was clear that their won-loss record hasn't won them much of anything yet.
"I was extremely proud of the players and the way that they played Sunday. They were focused. It's fun to be a part of it. It really is. At the same time, no one gives out awards for 5-2, so we have to keep that in mind having said that.
"They've worked hard. They've earned everything that they've gotten so far. For that, absolutely I'm extremely proud of them and I'm happy for them.
"I'm happy for the fans of this team that they've gotten what they've so long have desired and yearned for, for so long. So yeah, I'm fired up about that. I know I don't show that emotion all the time up here, but yeah, I'm pumped up about that. It's a result of putting in the work. That's the great part about it. These guys they earn it."
McDermott said he was glad to see players getting in early on Monday to get the necessary treatments in an effort to get their bodies right for another game in just four days' time.
Tyrod takes step in beating coverageThe Raiders didn't mix things up a whole lot in terms of their pass rush Sunday, but they were determined to keep Tyrod Taylor in the pocket. Oakland employed an approach used by New England the past couple of years where they rushed four most of the day and kept their ends disciplined in not getting too far up the field to allow Taylor an escape route underneath to exploit with his legs.
They also rushed just three at times committing eight to coverage, challenging Taylor to beat them with his arm. His 165 yards passing won't jump off the stat page at all, but Taylor took another step in his development as a passer as coach McDermott sees it.
"The last two weeks I've seen Tyrod [Taylor] grow in the pocket and stepping up in the pocket, doing some really nice things," said McDermott. "Keeping plays alive, certainly, we all know that. Delivering the ball. He's had two quality weeks since the bye. You look at other ways he's evolving as a leader of this football team. That's really exciting to watch and I'm proud of what he's done the last two weeks."
On Sunday, Taylor against a four-man rush went 12-16 passing for 88 yards. Against a five-man rush, Taylor was 4-5 passing for 49 yards and a touchdown. And against a three-man rush, Taylor was 4-5 passing for 33 yards.
His only negative plays were his seven incompletions, a screen play that went for minus three yards.
Future opponents will see that Taylor is beginning to show that he can keep drives moving by making plays in the pass game even when opposing defenses commit seven and eight players in coverage. That's going to be a problem because the alternative is blitzing Taylor, something that's already been proven to be dangerous knowing the quarterback's escapability.