The Buffalo Bills are fully expecting to see a good deal of newly acquired New York Jets multi-purpose threat Percy Harvin Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
And why not?
After a 1-6 start, the Jets desperately need a play-making jolt, which is why they acquired the speedy wide receiver/rusher in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said it was possible the Jets would utilize Harvin in a package of plays rather than as a standard part of the regular offense. In all likelihood, the Jets will try to do what Harvin does best and have him run jet sweeps, catch the ball in space on bubble screens, and perhaps even line up behind center (he played some quarterback in high school) in wildcat formation, where he could run, handoff and even throw while quarterback Geno Smith lines up as a receiver. Harvin also could see action returning kicks.
“It’s awful hard to come in and, ‘Oh, by the way, here’s the offense; learn it in a week,’ ” Ryan said during a phone call with reporters covering the Bills. “I don’t know if that’s realistic. But we’ll have some plays for him, let him get back there and return a kick and things like that.
“I’d love to see him make a difference immediately, obviously. But we’ll see how he does during the week, how much he can pick up of this offense and then let him go. He gives us a weapon. You combine him with (fellow wide receivers Eric) Decker and (Jeremy) Kerley and the tight ends we have, and we have some excellent backs.”
Defensive end Jerry Hughes said he and the rest of the Bills’ defense will pay particularly close attention to Harvin when he’s in the game.
“You just really have to be alert when he’s on the field, where he’s at, his alignment, just making sure we always pay attention to that,” Hughes said. “And then, after that, it’s just everybody running to the football. We know he’s an explosive guy with a lot of speed. What we’ve got to do is get all 11 guys flying to the football, rallying around him, keeping him contained and in front of us.”
Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been voted by fans, in polling on NFL.com, the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for Week Seven, the NFL announced Friday.
Watkins had a career day with nine receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday’s victory against Minnesota.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game.
Wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee) and safety Aaron Williams (neck) are listed as questionable. Williams aggravated his injury against Minnesota.
Defensive end Mario Williams (thumb), linebacker Brandon Spikes (ribs), cornerback Ron Brooks (groin), and Watkins (groin) are probable.
Linebacker Ty Powell (knee) has been ruled out of the game, along with the obvious: running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone).