1. Sean McDermott tried to caution his optimism, but the Buffalo Bills' coach admitted that the "early signs are positive" in regards to injuries suffered Sunday by cornerback E.J. Gaines and safety Jordan Poyer.
"We're listing those guys as day to day," McDermott said Monday. "We're still going through the evaluation process right now and just taking it one day at a time."
Gaines suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter of the 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Poyer suffered a right knee injury on the final play of the game.
"We're still getting information coming from the training room," McDermott said. "We'll get a little bit more this afternoon. ... The important thing is that, anyone who is hurt, Jordan in this case, that they maximize those treatment opportunities to come back as quickly as they can. I thought Micah Hyde did a good job of that a couple weeks ago. Our players have been phenomenal with taking care of things off the field. That's been one of the keys to our success to this point."
2. The Bills made a roster move Monday to give themselves more depth in the secondary, claiming cornerback Tony McRae off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens. McRae, 24, has spent the past five games on the Ravens' active roster after being promoted from the practice squad in Week Two. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders. He spent last season on the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad.
The Bills were down to three healthy cornerbacks Sunday after Gaines went out.
To make room for McRae, the Bills released wide receiver Kaelin Clay. He became expendable when the Bills signed receiver Deonte Thompson to the active roster last week. Thompson had four catches for 107 yards against the Bucs.
3. The Bills need to get things right in the secondary in a hurry. Over the next six weeks, the team will face the following quarterbacks: Oakland’s Derek Carr, the New York Jets’ Josh McCown, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, the Los Angeles’ Chargers Philip Riviers, Kansas City’s Alex Smith and New England’s Tom Brady. That's the best of all time (Brady), sure-fire Hall of Famer (Brees), possible league MVP this season (Smith), highest-paid player (Carr) and multiple-time Pro Bowler (Rivers). Heck, even McCown is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes this season.
Jameis Winston torched the Bills for 384 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, while Cincinnati's Andy Dalton also topped 300 yards in Week Five.
"It is a concern," McDermott said. "I don’t take those things lightly. We’ve got to look at everything. From what we’re doing schematically, personnel, and that starts with me and making sure we’re doing the right things there practice wise as well. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got some things buttoned up on that end, and we continue to affect the quarterback. Quarterbacks drive this league, and we have to do a good job of affecting quarterbacks."
4. Marcell Dareus played a season-high 41 snaps against the Bucs, registering five tackles.
"He really played the way we need him to play yesterday," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "Solid when it comes to pass rush, did a great job in the run game using his hands, separating off of blocks. It was all the things – and he had that type of week at practice, too, he had a really good week of practice. We all could see that he was headed in the right direction, and it showed up in the game. I’m sure when Oakland takes a look at it on tape, they’re going to be mindful of it. Just really good job by him the way he prepared throughout the week and then what he did yesterday in the game."
5. Conversely, defensive end Shaq Lawson played a season-low 30 snaps. After missing the Week Four win in Atlanta, Lawson has been held without a sack in the Bills' last two games.
"I think he’s just about where he needs to be," Frazier said. "This will be a great opportunity for him coming up. He’s doing some good things in the run game, I think the sacks will come. There’s a lot more football to be played, and his opportunities will come and I think the sacks will come over time. He’s playing good football for us. Although the numbers may not be there, he’s gotten some hurries on some quarterbacks, but he’s really stout in the run game, and we need that."
6. Left tackle Cordy Glenn took 58 of 68 snaps in his first start since Week Two.
"Cordy felt good during the game, I thought he played extremely well," said McDermott, who indicated that Glenn looks close to being ready to play an entire game as he manages foot and ankle injuries.
7. It continues to be a slow crawl uphill statistically for rookie receiver Zay Jones, who had two catches for 17 yards against the Bucs. The Bills' coaching staff also continues to stand by Jones, with offensive coordinator Rick Dennison saying "just time" is all that Jones needs to start producing more.
"He made some plays, and he’ll make more," Dennison said. "We keep hanging with him in there, and he will continue to work at it."
8. Linebacker Preston Brown was kicking himself after the game Sunday for being unable to jump on a fumble in the second quarter. Frazier said the Bills practice that "skill" on a daily basis, but it's not always easy to predict which way the ball will bounce.
"The ball is shaped different, so it's not easy to pick up when it's moving, especially as evidenced by what happened with Preston yesterday," Frazier said. "We teach them to put their thumbs down and try to scoop the football and cradle it to the body. Preston was trying to do that, but it was bouncing and was a little more difficult. Fortunate for us, we covered it."
9. The Bills went 10 of 16 on third down, which is their best performance through six games in that category
"We ran the ball on some of the third downs, we did a good job converting on those," Dennison said. "It’s an equal balance of running and throwing, and keeping within the scheme. Obviously, Taiwan Jones came in and made a big third down at the end of the game, with a little bit different play. Just mixing it up, making sure that we keep a good balance."
10. Frazier said that if Poyer is unable to play, Trae Elston is currently the No. 3 safety on the roster.