The Buffalo Bills report there are 12,000 tickets available for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Rich Stadium.
The Bills will have to do a brisk business to sell out by the 1 p.m. Thursday deadline for lifting the local television blackout for the game. The game could be the eighth straight home contest not shown on local television.
Due to their bye in the NFL schedule, the Bills got an early jump on their preparation for the Lions. They held a two-hour practice in the fieldhouse Monday. Usually, the team just watches film on Mondays.
Coach Marv Levy reported all the players practiced. Defensive end Phil Hansen said the ribs he bruised against the Colts last week still are particularly painful.
From the Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics Dept: The Bills are one of only three NFL teams that rank among the top 10 in both offense and defense. The 2-2 Bills stand seventh in yards gained and eighth in yards allowed. The other two are Denver and New England, both undefeated. Denver is ranked fifth on offense and 10th on defense, and New England second and third, respectively.
Sunday's game will be the Bills' first against Detroit coach Bobby Ross, who spent two weeks as the Bills' offensive coordinator in January, 1987. Ross was offered the head coaching job at Georgia Tech shortly after Levy hired him, and the Bills released him from his contract. Ross was on Levy's coaching staff at William & Mary in 1967 and '68 and with the Kansas City Chiefs from '78 to '81.
Lions defensive coordinator Larry Peccatiello also coached under Levy at William & Mary in '67 and '68. Ross also coached Dan Henning's son, Dan, at Maryland.
NFL players get to nominate a former high school teacher or coach for league-sponsored awards at the end of the season. Jeff Burris nominated Jimmy Wallace, his high school football coach at Northwestern High in Rock Hill, S.C., and Wallace has made the list of five finalists for the NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.