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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Jim Kelly finds himself in the middle of Bills' protests

Former Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly was on the sideline with the team before Sunday's game, as he often is. But while several players kneeled during the anthem in protest against racial inequality and in solidarity with their brothers across the league whom President Trump attacked Saturday in a speech – which the Bills held a team meeting to discuss – Kelly stuck out, standing and holding a Bills cap high above his head.

Kelly wrote on Instagram Sunday night that the incongruous stance was not an accident, and he doubled down Monday morning by telling 97 Rock that he "lost a lot of respect" for running back LeSean McCoy, who stretched during the anthem.

Kelly's comments calling out the team's best player did not seem to be well-received in the locker room. They also seemed to go against the team's statement from Saturday night, which – as Jay Skurski noted – was interesting because Kelly remains employed by the team.

Kelly and McCoy communicated during the day, though the details of the conversation were unknown. All that's certain, Kimberley A. Martin wrote, is that we're entering uncharted territory – for the Bills, for the league, and for all of us.

Are more protests ahead? It seems likely, though Bills players say they haven't made any plans yet for upcoming games. “It’s a wild time in America right now and we have a polarizing president it appears and he made some remarks that a lot of the guys in the NFL took offense to," center Eric Wood said Monday. “I know from our team, the guys who knelt meant no disrespect to the military whatsoever. I think what’s got a lot of the fans and the people that support the NFL upset is they think it’s a shot at the military. I think I speak for everyone that says it is absolutely not a disrespect to the military."

Ratings up: Despite a belief that the protests hurt television ratings, Sunday's game was the highest-viewed Bills game of the season.

Commish "proud": Here's what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday when asked about the upswing in leaguewide protests: "The way we reacted today, and this weekend, made me proud,” Goodell told Sports Illustrated. “I’m proud of our league."

The Bucky & Sully Show: Reaction to anthem protests, Jim Kelly comments

E.J. Gaines up, Zay Jones down: Zay Jones, the Bills' rookie receiver, has only three catches through the first three games of the season, making Jay Skurski's "down" list after Week Three. Cornerback E.J. Gaines, however, found himself on the "up" side after another strong performance.

Film review: Mark Gaughan digs into the film after every Bills game and assigns grades to each position group. The Bills' defensive backs had a good game, he wrote.

Von Miller penalty an "overreaction": Von Miller's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pulling his hand away from Tyrod Taylor was an "overreaction" from referee Carl Cheffers, former NFL official Jim Daopoulous (now with ESPN) told the News. The play was important, extending a fourth-quarter scoring drive that would've been a punt, but one national writer posited that its virality distracted from Taylor's strong day.

Advanced stats: Tyrod Taylor's adjusted completion percentage ranks among the best in football.

Podcast: Sean McDermott's defense is putting the pieces in the right places so far.

Monday Night game: The Cowboys beat the Cardinals, 28-17, behind two fourth-quarter touchdowns (box score).

Upcoming: Here are five things to know about the Atlanta Falcons, which host the Bills next week. They're one of the toughest teams in the league, but the rest of the Bills' schedule doesn't look as daunting as initially thought, Jerry Sullivan wrote.

What They Said: McDermott, Dennison, Wood, Williams, Hughes on Jim Kelly, protests and more

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