The Buffalo Bills will hold a ceremony during halftime of Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to commemorate their 50th anniversary all-time team, which includes several players from their Super Bowl years. The ceremony is part of the franchise's celebration of a half-century of football.
The awards presentation includes a video presentation and awards ceremony at midfield honoring the 26 players who were selected after balloting from fans. Retired play-by-play announcer Van Miller will introduce each player from the press box.
Nearly all of the 26 players chosen are expected to be in town this weekend. Late defensive lineman Tom Sestak will be represented by his son during the ceremony Sunday. Special teams ace Steve Tasker will not be there because he'll be working as an analyst for CBS.
The all-time team, announced in June, is as follows:
OFFENSE: Quarterback Jim Kelly; running back Thurman Thomas; wide receivers Andre Reed, Eric Moulds and James Lofton; tight end Pete Metzelaars; offensive linemen Billy Shaw, Joe DeLamielleure, Ruben Brown, Kent Hull and Jim Ritcher; kicker Steve Christie.
DEFENSE: Defensive linemen Bruce Smith, Fred Smerlas and Sestak; linebackers Darryl Talley, Cornelius Bennett, Mike Stratton and Shane Conlan; defensive backs Butch Byrd, Nate Odomes, George Saimes and Henry Jones; punter Brian Moorman and special teams man Tasker. The coach is Marv Levy.
Channel 4 sports anchor and current play-by-play man John Murphy also will announce the team tonight during a sold-out gala at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. That event will be held from 6 to 11:30 p.m.
In addition to the ceremony Sunday, the Bills' alumni association is holding a private tailgate party during the game. The following day, the Bills will hold their annual alumni golf tournament at Lancaster Country Club. The tournament is also sold out.
Cornerback Terrence McGee missed practice Friday before signing his contract extension. He was suffering from back spasms but is expected to play Sunday against the Bucs. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.
Defensive end Aaron Schobel (back) returned to practice Friday after sitting out Thursday. He was listed as probable along with tight end Derek Fine (hamstring), cornerback Drayton Florence (knee) and defensive end Chris Kelsay (knee). All three also participated fully in Friday's workout.
Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Bryant (knee) was listed as doubtful. Tight end John Gilmore (ankle) and defensive lineman Kyle Moore (groin) were listed as questionable. Safety Jermaine Phillips (calf) was probable. Cornerback E.J. Biggers (shoulder) and center Jeff Faine (triceps) will not play.
Bills middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was dealing with frustration after breaking his arm for the second time in three years. His surgically repaired arm was in a sling Friday as he watched practice. He's expected to see doctors Sunday and will likely be sidelined until the bye week Nov. 8.
Posluszny suffered the injury to his left arm, the same one he broke during his rookie season, against the Patriots while trying to tackle receiver Wes Welker. He said a plate that was inserted into his arm two years ago contributed to him breaking it again. It has since been replaced by a larger plate.
"Monday Night Football, I had a great opportunity to start off the season, why does it happen now?" Posluszny said. "I don't know. It's very, very frustrating, but what are you going to do? You try to mentally prepare for when I get a chance to come back and play."
The game Sunday will mark the first time in history that the Buccaneers have played in Buffalo during the regular season. All eight of their previous games were played in Tampa Bay, with the Bucs winning six. Their winning percentage is better against the Bills than any other team in the NFL.
"I can't believe I've never been there," said Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber, who has played 178 games in the NFL. "I'm pretty sure it's the only city that I've never played in in 13 years. I'm excited about that, but less so about playing against [their] two great receivers."