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Bills notebook: Johnson likely unavailable after mom’s death

Bills notebook: Johnson likely unavailable after mom’s death Bills linemen Erik Pears, left, and Kraig Urbik get in some work during practice in the team’s field house on Wednesday., during practice in the field house next to Ralph Wilson Stadium (Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)


Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins while he mourns the death of his mother, coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday.

Johnson returned to his family’s San Francisco-area home this week and was not at practice Wednesday. Johnson’s mother, Rhonda Lewis, died unexpectedly at her home on Saturday.

“I don’t believe that he will be available for our game on Sunday,” Marrone said, “and I think it’s important we realize this tragedy, and our thoughts and our prayers are with Stevie and his family.”

“He’s a brother to us,” said receiver T.J. Graham. “He’s a leader in our room. Any time it affects one of us, it affects all of us. Our hearts go out to him. We communicate with him all the time. There’s not much you can say, but he knows we have his back.”


About 16,000 tickets for Sunday’s game remained unsold Wednesday, making it likely the game will be blacked out from local television. It would be the Bills’ first blackout of the season.

Only one NFL game, in San Diego, has been blacked out so far this season.


Safety Aaron Williams and running back Fred Jackson both sat out Bills practice due to sore ribs. Marrone said Williams is 50-50 to play Sunday. He said Jackson is expected to play.

For Miami, starting cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) and No. 2 running back Daniel Thomas (ankle) did not practice. Starters who were limited were cornerback Nolan Carroll (knee), nose tackle Paul Soliai (ankle) and safety Chris Clemons (knee).


In fan voting for the Pro Bowl, Bills rookie Kiko Alonso remains first at inside linebacker and fourth among all defenders.

Pro Bowl invitations will be announced Dec. 27, the Friday before regular-season finales are played. Fan votes, which can be submitted until 6 p.m. Dec. 26, count for one-third of the process. Coaches and players also cast ballots.

Alonso has 335,878 votes. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman has 477,595, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt 363,433 and Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas 359,255.

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus moved past Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe into second behind the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Hatcher, while Kyle Williams remained in fourth. Dareus is 6,079 votes behind Hatcher. At defensive end, Mario Williams was overtaken barely by St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn for second place behind Watt.


Snap counts for the Jacksonville game:

OFFENSE: EJ Manuel, Erik Pears, Cordy Glenn, Kraig Urbik, Doug Legursky and Eric Wood 76, Robert Woods 66, Stevie Johnson 64, Fred Jackson 42, Scott Chandler 49, Lee Smith 45, Frank Summers 29, T.J. Graham 24, C.J. Spiller 22, Marquise Goodwin 15, Evan Rodriguez 8, Chris Gragg 5, Thomas Welch 1.

DEFENSE: Kiko Alonso and Stephon Gilmore 75, Leodis McKelvin and Jairus Byrd 74, Mario Williams 65, Kyle Williams 62, Nickell Robey 56, Aaron Williams 55, Manny Lawson 50, Marcell Dareus and Alan Branch 44, Da’Norris Searcy 37, Corbin Bryant 36, Jerry Hughes 34, Nigel Bradham and Stefan Charles 14, Jim Leonhard 10, Ty Powell 3, Ron Brooks 2, Arthur Moats 1.


  • lls11VetteGS

    uh we need to find someone else to drop passes....

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.