Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 30, 2013

Buffalo Bills Follow-Up: 5 things from Thursday night

Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — The only encouraging news to come out of the Buffalo Bills' preseason finale occurred about 90 minutes before the opening kickoff.

That's when rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, tested his injured left knee by throwing numerous passes to several teammates and coaches.

Otherwise, what followed was a meltdown for the Bills (2-2), who unraveled in a 35-13 loss to the Detroit Lions (3-1) on Thursday.

Matt Leinart struggled in his Bills' debut, going 3 of 10 for 11 yards passing before being yanked after the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner threw his second interception. Just as bad, coach Doug Marrone announced after the game that two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd traveled to North Carolina to see a specialist after complaining about a previously undisclosed foot injury.

Quarterback remains Buffalo's most pressing need. If Manuel's not ready to practice by Wednesday, the Bills are prepared to have undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel open the season against New England on Sept. 8.

The Lions, by comparison, rested most of their starters, and watched their backups make quick work of another AFC East opponent a week after a 40-9 rout of New England.

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Here are five things we know about the Lions from the preseason:

WHERE'S ZIGGY? The Lions remain tight-lipped on the status of rookie first-round pick, defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah. Coach Jim Schwartz said Ansah didn't travel with the team because he was hurt, but wouldn't provide any details on the nature of the injury. Ansah is believed to have hurt his head after colliding with offensive lineman Leroy Harris in practice Saturday. "He was one of three guys that didn't travel. The guys that didn't travel, we thought it best to leave them home," Schwartz said. When pressed further, he added: "I'm not going to comment anywhere else."

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