It almost feels taboo to discuss anything other than the Sabres on this historic Buffalo sports day, but there is still a football game for the Buffalo Bills to be played Sunday and based on practice today, the Bills could be shorthanded at a key position.
Wide receivers Robert Woods (ankle) and Stevie Johnson (groin) were both held out of practice Wednesday and rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel could very well be without two of his biggest offensive weapons when they take on the New York Jets in a must-win game to keep alive their flickering playoff hopes.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said this afternoon Woods won’t play Sunday, and Johnson didn’t seem overly confident of a different fate following last Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh. Johnson was on the field for practice today but did not participate. With a bye week following the Jets game Johnson could be in line for an extended rest before the final stretch run of the season.
Johnson and Woods have combined for 67 catches, 820 yards and five touchdowns this season.
This doesn’t bode well for Manuel, who had a rough go of it at New York in Week three even with Woods and Johnson at his disposal. Making the first road start of his young career Manuel completed less than half his passes (19-of-42) and was sacked a whopping eight times in Buffalo’s 27-20 loss.
Johnson was one of the few Bills who looked good that afternoon in catching six passes for 86 yards.
If neither can go Sunday it will be Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham getting the start with both Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan seeing expanded roles.
In a related note, buying a ticket or having underground knowledge of an internet link may be the only way you see Sunday’s rematch live. The Bills have still have several tickets remaining to sell and with the league deadline Thursday 1pm the game could be blacked out locally.