PITTSFORD – Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood’s helmet had been ripped off and a couple of punches delivered into his face.
A full-scale brawl erupted, and in the mass of bodies, Wood screamed he would murder the rookie who did it.
Toward the end of Wednesday morning’s practice at St. John Fisher College, undrafted rookie defensive end Bryan Johnson locked up with Wood after a goal-line drill.
Running back Fred Jackson had slithered into the end zone. The play was over, but the battle was not.
Before the fight could be broken up, tight end Scott Chandler had tackled Johnson to the ground. Chandler’s helmet also was torn off. An incensed Wood marched toward Johnson and repeatedly yelled, “I’ll ------ kill you!”
Johnson, a roster long shot from West Texas A&M, stalked away without his helmet.
“Twenty-one days in pads and counting!” Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes bellowed with glee. “I love it! That’s what happens, baby!”
Bills coach Doug Marrone wasn’t amused.
“It’s not part of the game,” Marrone told reporters afterward. “Therefore, I don’t want to speak about it. It hurts the integrity of our game the more we talk about it. That’s how I feel about fighting.”
Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin has been slowly working his way back into the defense because of offseason hip surgery. He left Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury.
Marrone didn’t provide any additional information about the severity of McKelvin’s injury or how it might affect the status for Saturday night’s preseason home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bills put linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on injured reserve with a torn patellar tendon.
The Bills signed Sylvester on July 16, a couple weeks after they lost linebacker Kiko Alonso to a season-ending knee injury.
Sylvester was a 2010 fifth-round draft choice who played 50 games over four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills never have been worth more.
That’s according to Forbes magazine’s annual NFL team valuations. Forbes released this year’s estimates, and pegged the Bills at $935 million, up from $870 million last year.
The Bills’ previous high was $909 million in 2009, the only other year it surpassed $900 million.
Even at a club record, the Bills dropped a spot within the NFL from 30th to 31st. The St. Louis Rams were the only franchise worth less at $930 million.
Forbes explained its valuations “are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) and are calculated using multiples of revenue that reflect each team’s current stadium economics (with adjustments for pending new stadiums and renovations).”