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Lynch Practices and Other Bills Notes

The real world is still dominating me. In the same fashion as the Pats dominated the Bills three weeks ago. It's just not pretty. I'll have the discussion of Terrence McGee originally scheduled for this morning up later this evening; apologies for the delay. In the meantime, here's what's going on today with our Bills:

Backup running back Anthony Thomas has been placed on IR, ending his second season as a Bill. He'll be replaced, of course, by Fred Jackson; A-Train's roster spot goes to LB Leon Joe, re-signed to provide depth at LB with Coy Wire unlikely to suit up for the Dolphins game.

The Bills must be reading this blog - especially our discussion of the two-back system. Why else would RB coach Eric Studesville actually consider using said system?

"I feel like I can go out and do whatever the coaches ask me to do," said (Fred) Jackson. "If they ask me to go play receiver I think I can go play receiver and if they ask me to play running back I can play running back. Marshawn is a back that can do the same, so I think it can cause some problems for some defenses."

That it can, Fred. As is alluded to in the article, it might be difficult to incorporate that type of system this late in the season, but it's certainly something to carefully consider going into next season. Jackson, by the way, is Buffalo's lowest-paid active player on roster; I'd say his return on investment has been spectacular.

Interesting article from The Buffalo News about Buffalo's third-down struggles defensively:

"We've tried to take a lot of pride in getting off the field on third down," (Perry) Fewell said. "We haven't been successful with that. So we're trying to find new ways, trying to be more creative as a defensive staff, as well as players, to get off the field on third down. . . . We're struggling a little bit."

I'd certainly say so - the article indicates that Buffalo's 49.1% third-down rate for its opponents is the NFL's highest percentage in 38 years. Ouch.

Interesting take on Ashton Youboty in this article as well. Speaking about the value of the nickel corner to the third-down defense, Fewell had this to say about using safeties Donte Whitner and Jim Leonhard in place of, say, Youboty (you know, an actual cornerback):

"An option is to go to Ashton," Fewell said. "We think he can possibly help us and do some things in there. But we're still sort of matching and seeing who does what well. . . . Because of the nagging injuries and this and that, he hasn't developed as well as we'd like for him to develop. He hasn't gotten the reps in practice and done the things to earn our confidence [yet]."

Oh, right... Marshawn Lynch. You know, if he plays Sunday, not only will Buffalo's offense be getting a major lift, it would also be surprising. Especially given that Lynch was told it would be an 8-week injury:

"I heard this injury is [normally] about an eight-week thing," Lynch said. "But they didn't bring me in to rest. I've got to get back to work some time."

This would be an incredibly quick recovery for Lynch, as he's only missed 3 games to this point. Things are looking optimistic still (to borrow Dick Jauron's catch phrase), as Lynch is running with the ones today at practice. If he practices tomorrow - even if he's just limited - I expect him to play Sunday, even if it's in a scaled back capacity. We could use him ASAP - we're still trying to make the playoffs, after all.