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Camp to stay at St. John Fisher

The Buffalo Bills announced on Thursday an agreement with St. John Fisher College that will keep the team's training camp in Pittsford.

"We are excited to have come to an agreement to continue our training camp at St. John Fisher College," Bills chief executive officer Russ Brandon said. "We believe Fisher offers us the best place to prepare our football team, continue our regional business initiatives and to serve our great fans."

Terms were not disclosed but the Bills reportedly will remain at Fisher for the next five years. When the Bills broke camp in August, Brandon said the parties were close to reaching an agreement that would keep the team at the school for many years.

The main issue that needed to be addressed were the shortened grass fields in the school's new track and field stadium which were reduced to 50 yards each. The school will remove four tennis courts adjacent to the field house to install a grass field. The shortened fields prevented the Bills from working on elements in the passing game.

"Not real good," said Bills coach Chan Gailey said at the time about the setup. "Very cramped."

It was vital to the Bills regional marketing efforts that they retained St. John Fisher. Approximately 15 percent of the Bills' fan base resides in Rochester, which has hosted Bills' training camp since 2000.

Brandon is a 1989 Fisher graduate who was pivotal in moving camp to the college after 19 years in Fredonia.

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Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the AFC offensive player for September. Fitzpatrick led Bills to a 3-0 start and to consecutive come-from-behind victories in each of the last two weeks. Buffalo is the first NFL team to win consecutive games in which it trailed by at least 18 points.

Fitzpatrick is second in the AFC in touchdown passes with nine and a passer rating of 103.5. He has completed 72 of 111 passes for 841 yards with three interceptions. He has led an offense which is tied for the conference lead with 11 red zone TDs. Buffalo's 78.6 red zone TD percentage is second in the AFC.

The Harvard graduate becomes the first Bill to receive the honor since Drew Bledsoe in Sept. 2002. Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is the only other Bills player honored with the award (Sept. 1989 and '92).

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Wide receiver Stevie Johnson (groin), who didn't participate in Wednesday's practice, returned Thursday. Others on the team's injury report who participated fully were rookie running back Johnny White (ankle), linebacker Kirk Morrison (hamstring) and nose tackle Torell Troup (lower back).

Gailey said cornerback Terrence McGee is "getting closer" but will miss Sunday's game at Cincinnati. Right guard Kraig Urbik (knee) is also out as are rookie linebacker Chris White (hamstring) and rookie corner Aaron Williams (collarbone). McGee and Urbik worked with trainers on the sidelines.

email: rmckissic@buffnews.com