Rivers cleared from concussion, will play vs. Bills

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been cleared to play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday by an independent neurological consultant after suffering a concussion last week, the team announced Friday.

Head coach Anthony Lynn said earlier in the week that he was hopeful Rivers would play, but he had still needed to be medically cleared.

Rivers had been officially deemed questionable after Friday’s practice, which was the second straight day he was able to participate fully.

The veteran quarterback was diagnosed with a concussion Monday after reporting symptoms, though it appeared he suffered the injury on his final play of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars attempting to make a tackle on an interception return.

Rivers has started every game since the beginning of the 2006 season, making Sunday’s contest his 195th consecutive start.

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Bills right to move on from Taylor but don’t buy into Peterman saving 2017

The Buffalo Billsdecision to move on from quarterback Tyrod Taylor and get a look at what they may have in 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman is the right choice – just not for the same reasons head coach Sean McDermott is claiming.

“We are in the playoff hunt and we are always focused on becoming the best team possible. We were made for better than 5-4,” McDermott said at a Wednesday morning press conference, announcing the change at quarterback.

The bold move comes in the midst of a season where the Bills sit in second in the AFC East, and in control of the conference’s second wild-card spot.

The claim that the team was built for better than 5-4 would’ve been met with much more dismay in September, following an offseason where the team traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby, mostly for future assets, and received Pro Football Focus‘ current 109th-ranked receiver Jordan Matthews and 35th-ranked cornerback E.J. Gaines. Watkins ranks as the 37th receiver, while Darby’s season has been mostly lost to an ankle injury.

It was largely the play of Taylor and his motley crew of pass catchers consisting of Matthews, second-round receiver Zay Jones, tight end Charles Clay, and various other castoffs, that set the Bills in the right direction.

His benching now comes as punishment for the team’s current standing and over achievements.

Taylor ranks as PFF’s No. 9 quarterback through the first 10 weeks of the season. After being a major reason for the Bills’ 5-2 start, he rightfully takes the fault for back-to-back losses to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints, dropping the team to 5-4.

Now on the brink of losing their hold on an unlikely playoff spot, McDermott and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison have decided it’s time to cut Taylor loose of a system not designed for his athleticism and run-happy personal preference. The team needed just one look at the offense with recently-acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to arrive at this conclusion.

The choice to investigate the abilities and future potential of Peterman should have come this offseason, before Taylor was signed to a two-year, $ 30.5-million contract. The team opted to stick with known mediocrity in Taylor instead of resetting with any one of the veteran journeyman quarterbacks available in free agency.

It would have come then as just the next logical move in a year meant for moving forward, instead of now, with so many fans expecting a playoff spot believed to be well out of reach not long ago.

Those fans can only take solace in the fact that 2017 looks more than ever like a rare season in which an 8-8 record may be good enough for that coveted playoff spot. They’re just relying on a fifth-round rookie to go 3-4 in the most difficult time of the season to get them there.

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Bills’ Incognito calls Thursday games ‘bull—-‘ after loss to Jets

Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito certainly wants no part of Thursday Night Football.

Following a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets, the three-time Pro Bowler sounded off on the concept of Thursday games.

"These Thursday night games, they suck. They throw a wrench in our schedule. It's absolutely ridiculous that we have to do this. As physical as this game is, as much work and preparation that goes into this, to force us to play games on four-day weeks, it's completely unfair and bulls—. The league makes money off it, and that's all they care about anyway," Incognito said via ESPN's Mike Rodak.

Although many players have sounded off on Thursday games, some would argue that the Bills weren’t at a competitive disadvantage, with both teams entering the game with equal rest.

The Bills resume their season against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 12.

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Bills trade Marcell Dareus to Jaguars

The Buffalo Bills traded two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced Friday.

In return, the Bills received a 2018 sixth-round draft pick from the Jags, though it could escalate to a fifth-rounder depending on how he performs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The move reunites Dareus with Jaguars head coach Doug Marone. The two worked together when Marone was at the helm of the Bills from 2013-14 – when Dareus made both his trips to the Pro Bowl.

While he's long been hailed as one of the NFL's elite interior defensive linemen, Dareus also gave the Bills numerous off-field headaches over the years. Buffalo was rumored throughout the offseason to be seeking a trade partner to dump his cap-crushing contract on.

The 27-year-old recorded eight tackles and one sack in five appearances with the Bills this season. He saw a reduction in snaps compared to previous years, but was still an effective run-stopper when on the field.

Dareus, who entered the league as the No. 3 overall pick in 2011, will join a Jaguars defense that currently leads the NFL in sacks with 33, but one that has also surrendered the third-most rushing yards.

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Panthers’ Olsen confirms broken foot vs. Bills

The Carolina Panthers may have defeated the Buffalo Bills on Sunday but it came at a large price as tight end Greg Olsen confirmed that he broke his foot in the contest.

It's a massive loss for the club as Olsen has firmly established himself as Cam Newton's top target during his time in Carolina.

The 32-year-old led the team last season with 80 receptions and 1,073 yards, well ahead of Kelvin Benjamin in both categories. While the timetable for his return is unclear, it's a safe bet he will miss a fair amount of time this season with the injury.

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Newton returns vs. Bills after ankle injury scare

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills after briefly leaving the contest with an ankle injury.

Newton left the field while assisted by trainers after getting sacked by two Bills defenders. The former MVP went to the medical tent but was cleared to return shortly thereafter.

Prior to leaving the game, Newton went 14-of-24 for 168 yards, adding three rushes for 26 yards. He was also sacked six times.

The Panthers' offense is already without Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who was ruled out of the game with a foot injury at halftime.

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Report: Bills’ Taylor clears concussion protocol, on track for Week 1

Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has cleared the NFL's concussion protocol and is on track to start the season opener Sunday versus the New York Jets, a source told ESPN's Field Yates.

The Bills, however, placed No. 2 quarterback T.J. Yates on injured reserve with a concussion, meaning rookie Nathan Peterman will likely back up Taylor for the foreseeable future.

Taylor returned to practice Monday, signaling that he was close to being cleared.

The veteran pivot will oversee an offense that will rely heavily on him and star running back LeSean McCoy following the trade of wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

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Report: Bills work out Joe Webb as potential QB help

With two of the Buffalo Bills' three quarterbacks currently in concussion protocol, the club worked out former Carolina Panther Joe Webb on Sunday, ESPN's Field Yates reports, citing a source.

New coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are familiar with Webb thanks to his time with the Panthers, and his versatility could be a a bonus for the AFC East outfit. Webb has played quarterback, receiver, and spent time on the special-teams unit during his NFL career.

Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates are both still in concussion protocol and have yet to be cleared for game action, meaning rookie Nathan Peterman is the only healthy quarterback on the 53-man roster.

The Bills open the season Sunday against the New York Jets.

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Bills’ McDermott reiterates Taylor to remain starting QB

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott squashed any notion of a quarterback controversy following his team’s 13-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.

For the second consecutive week, McDermott made it clear that Tyrod Taylor would remain the team's first-string quarterback. Taylor was diagnosed with a concussion, however, after being sacked during the first quarter of Saturday's contest.

Nathan Peterman took over when Taylor left the game.

“Tyrod Taylor is our starter…The next man stepped up tonight. Peterman did well. I was proud of how he handled himself,” McDermott said during his post-game press conference.

Taylor went 1-of-3 before exiting the contest, and his teammates didn’t fare much better. Peterman finished 11-of-23 for 93 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, while T.J. Yates went 8-of-15 for 102 yards and an interception.

The Bills have yet to establish a timeline for Taylor’s return.

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Bills’ McCoy: Kaepernick isn’t good enough to be worth the distraction

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned more because of his play and less because of his national anthem protests.

"It's a lot more than just, he's not on the team because he doesn't want to stand for the national anthem," the star runner said Thursday, per Joe Buscaglia from WKBW. "I think it's more than that. That may have something to do with it, but I think it also has a lot to do with his play.

“… And then it’s the chaos that comes with it. I mean, it’s a lot.”

Kaepernick, a free agent, has received minimal interest from NFL teams, despite appearing to offer an upgrade to several teams at the most important position in the game.

Only the Baltimore Ravens have seemingly come close to inking him, but they wound up signing with the likes of David Olson and Thad Lewis instead.

“There’s certain players that can be on the team with big distractions, and there’s other players that they’re not good enough where it’s worth it,” added McCoy. “I think his situation’s not good enough to have on the team with all the attention that comes along with it.

“If (Tom) Brady or a guy like – whoever’s your favorite player, Odell Beckham or a guy like that – you’ll deal with that attention and play him. With certain guys it’s not worth it.”

Kaepernick caused a national uproar last season with his decision to sit for the national anthem while a member of the San Francisco 49ers. After meeting with members of the U.S. military, Kaepernick agreed to kneel instead of sitting down completely.

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