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Backup quarterback in the works for Bills; Lions game blacked out

It appears the next Buffalo Bills backup quarterback candidate will be long on clipboard-holding experience.

The Bills are planning on signing journeyman backup Jordan Palmer, ESPN reported Monday night.

Palmer entered the NFL in 2007 but only has thrown 10 passes in regular-season action over seven seasons. He has been on an NFL roster for almost four full regular seasons.

He was a backup in Cincinnati for three full seasons, 2008 through 2010. Then he spent part of the 2012 season with Jacksonville and the second half of last season with the Chicago Bears.

The Bears, who are the Bills’ opponent in the season opener on Sept. 8, released Palmer on Sunday.

Chicago picked veteran Jimmy Clausen over Palmer to be the backup to starter Jay Cutler. Palmer was 21 of 30 for 225 yards for the Bears this preseason.


It looks like the luxury of having a kickoff specialist is something the Bills can’t afford in 2014.

Second-year place-kicker Dustin Hopkins was among 11 players released by the team Monday. Hopkins was a sixth-round pick in 2013.

He spent his rookie year on injured reserve and then took a backseat to veteran Dan Carpenter.

Hopkins wasn’t exceptional enough on kickoffs to stick around. He booted touchbacks on 7 of 11 kickoffs this preseason but was just 1 of 3 in Saturday’s game. Carpenter had touchbacks on 4 of 5 kickoffs in Pittsburgh two weeks ago.

Coach Doug Marrone did not rule out the possibility of looking for another kickoff specialist.

However, most teams keep just one place-kicker.

Also released were: quarterback Dennis Dixon, receivers Tori Gurley and Chris Summers, running back Ronnie Wingo, guard J.J. ‘Unga, center Macky MacPherson, defensive tackle Damien Jacobs, safeties Derek Brim and Jajuan Harley and punter Jake Dombrowski.


Thursday’s preseason Bills game against the Detroit Lions will be blacked out on local television, the team announced Monday.

The game, which begins at 7 p.m., has not sold out. The game will be broadcast on a tape delay at 7 p.m. Friday on WKBW-TV and at 7:30 p.m. Friday on WHAM-TV, as well as at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Time Warner Cable Sportschannel.

Meanwhile, Marrone said some of his starters will play Thursday. He would not say how much.

“I’m going to play them some,” Marrone said. “I’m looking to play those guys. How much depends upon as the week goes and what I want to see and want I want to accomplish. It’s probably more on the offensive side than the defensive side. I may not play every single starter. But on offense I want to play guys that haven’t played together for awhile.”


Marrone said poor performance was the main reason the team released defensive tackle Alan Branch, who was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Cheektowaga early Saturday morning.

“You have to perform in this league and he didn’t perform well,” Marrone said. “Obviously it was a poor decision but basically it was the performance because we didn’t really play him in the first two or three preseason games, nor could we.”


Marrone on the Bills’ run defense, which held Tampa to a 2.6-yard average on 38 attempts:

“I thought Corbin Bryant probably played his best game of the year. I thought Stefan Charles played better than he has been playing when he was in there. I thought Brandon Spikes really showed up and made a lot of plays and made a big difference in the run game. I thought Keith Rivers, from what I’ve watched of him on film, was more aggressive than I saw him when he played on other teams. Obviously Nigel Bradham is playing at a high level. We’re doing a very good job of defending the run.”


Receiver Marquise Goodwin downplayed fan reaction to his comment via twitter after the game regarding the boos on Saturday.

Said Goodwin in his tweet: “Looks like we have to play against our own “fans” this year. Same ones booing prolly the first in line for autographs.”

Said Goodwin Monday: “I felt like it needed to be said. It’s just something I felt at the time. Obviously everybody knows what happened. We didn’t come out and didn’t have a good first half for whatever reason. ... But I have big admiration for the fans in Buffalo. It’s a great fan base. They’re real supportive but they can be harsh at times. That’s just part of the game. I didn’t take it personally.”


Sitting out Monday were guard Chris Williams (back), cornerback Mario Butler (ankle), safety Jonathan Meeks (neck) and tight end Lee Smith (toe).


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