1. Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan should be applauded for the way he's handling Marquise Goodwin's decision to be away from the team while he pursues a spot on the U.S. Track and Field team for the upcoming Olympic games in Brazil.
"My understanding is he has the number one jump in the world, I think, at this point," Ryan said. "So that is one way to represent Buffalo, our community and our football team. ... This is a once-in-a-lifetime shot for a young man to get an opportunity to represent our country in the Olympics. I'm certainly not going to take that opportunity away from him. When he comes back with us, we know that he's training specifically for the long jump and things and that's fine. But we will be excited to get him back here and on this thing and work on his football skills."
Goodwin does indeed have the best long jump in the world this year. Earlier this month, he was named USATF Track and Field Athlete of the Week following a jump of 27 feet, 8.75 inches at the Meeting Region Guadeloupe – a jump that would have won the gold medal in both 2012 and 2008.
It's good to see the Bills supporting Goodwin's pursuit of the gold. With that being said, there is no question he's firmly on the team's roster bubble. Missing all of spring practice and a good portion of training camp undoubtedly puts Goodwin behind in what promises to be a heated competition at wide receiver. Surely, he knows that.
2. The circumstances surrounding Shaq Lawson's recent shoulder surgery have been talked and written about to the point of exhaustion, but allow one final observation on the situation: Ryan's message that the Bills want to get Lawson "100 percent," is logical, but it's hard to be optimistic that will happen at any point this season. No matter how many regular-season games Lawson misses – and anywhere from two to eight seems feasible now – he'll return to the team having missed out on every rep during the spring and preseason.
That's a big deal. Sure, he'll follow along in the meeting rooms, but that's not close to the same as doing it on the field.
"Obviously you wish he was out there, there's no question about that," Ryan said. "You wish he was able to practice and everything else. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that he wouldn’t benefit from that, because of course he would.
"This is a challenge to the young man ... to make sure you're ready to go from a mental standpoint and conditioning and everything else. That's what he has to sign up for."
Expecting Lawson to jump right into the lineup and be a star – which some will because of his draft status – is an unfair level of expectation for a rookie in his situation.
3. Remember the start of Mario Williams' Bills career? A mysterious wrist injury was blamed for his slow start, eventually leading to surgery over the bye week of the 2012 season. Williams never showed up on the injury report for the condition.
It was hard not to think of that when hearing Jerry Hughes mention this week how he played nearly the entire 2015 season with a chipped bone in his left wrist. Hughes said he suffered the injury in Week Two against New England.
"Got that taken care of in the offseason," Hughes said. "I'm 100 percent now. Anytime you have something like that it slows you down. I just tried to really fight through it and go out there and play with my guys. I always want to be on the field with my teammates, so just kind of really just took it week-by-week."
Hughes said he wouldn't use the wrist injury as an excuse for his performance, but it does help to explain why his production dropped last year. Getting him back to 100 percent, which he says he is, will be a boost for the pass rush.