Buffalo has been known for its bad weather over the years, but today looks like a beautiful day in the Western New York woods for a pivotal AFC East game between two long-time rivals.
The Jets and the Bills are warming up now for their 1 p.m. kickoff under bright sunlight and in mid-40-degree temperatures. The notorious winds of Ralph Wilson Stadium are coming and going. The wind strips on the goalposts are fluttering, the team flags atop the stadium whipping. The wind could play a part in this game, especially as the temps start to drop in the second half.
TE Chris Baker is loosening up in 7-on-7 drills and looks ready to go after his hip flareup kept him out of the Chiefs game. On the other hand, that injury came up shortly before kickoff so we’ll keep you posted.
On the other hand, TE Bubba Franks (hip) is inactive for the second game, LB David Harris (groin) didn’t even make the trip to Buffalo, and S Eric Smith’s concussion has him listed as IA as well.
David Bowens is expected to start for Harris on the inside. Rookie Dustin Keller and perhaps Robert Turner again will work alongside Baker at TE. And it looks as if Abram Elam will start alongside Kerry Rhodes at S, although David Barrett, inactive last week, is active for this one and you’ll remember he did start one game at S at San Diego.
Besides the injured players, the Jets’ inactive list includes K Mike Nugent, WR David Clowney, CB/KR Justin Miller and newly signed RB Marcus Mason. Brett Ratliff is the third QB for the eighth game this season.
Who else is active? S James Ihedigbo, just signed from the Jets’ practice squad, is up, as is veteran CB/S David Barrett, who was inactive last week, as is Jason Trusnik, the LB who had been on the PUP list since the start of training camp.
Buffalo’s inactives: RB Xavier Omon, CB Ashton Youboty, starting RG Brad Butler, T Demetrius Bell, starting WR Josh Reed, starting DE Aaron Schobel and DT John McCargo. Gibran Hamdan is the third QB.
The Bills’ announced lineup changes Duke Preston ahead of Melvin Fowler at C, Jason Whittle at RG, rookie James Hardy at WR and Ryan Denney at Schobel’s RDE spot.
The Jets are in their white jerseys and green pants today. They’ve lost four in a row in that combo, including two weeks ago at Oakland. But their last win in white/green was a big one, by 38-10 over Brett Favre and the Packers at Green Bay.
Ron Winter is the referee. It is Winter’s 10th game as the ref for a Jets game, beginning with the 44-6 rout of Indianapolis and then-rookie QB Peyton Manning at the Meadowlands in 1998. The Jets are 6-3 in those previous nine Winter games, including 2-1 when it’s Jets-Bills.
Kickoff is less than a half-hour away. It would be great to be able to say the Jets and the Bills are both 5-3 and, awaiting the outcome of New England’s game tonight at Indy, could be tied for first place in the division. We’ll see.
Tags: Brett Favre, Bubba Franks, Buffalo Bills, Chris Baker, David Bowens, David Harris, James Ihedigbo, Jason Trusnik
Posted in Randy Lange | 7 Comments »