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Bills Notebook: Kelvin Benjamin passes physical, has a chance to play Thursday vs. Jets

Kelvin Benjamin is officially a member of the Buffalo Bills.

The wide receiver, acquired in a deadline trade with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, passed his physical Wednesday and accompanied his new team to the New York City area in advance of Thursday’s game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

General Manager Brandon Beane, who was in Carolina when the Panthers drafted Benjamin and swung the trade for the Bills, said in a radio interview with WGR-550 on Wednesday that he did not anticipate the physical being an issue.

“We’re sending him for a physical this morning. If for some reason, there was a red flag, we’d figure that out,” Beane said. “We feel like this shouldn’t be an issue going forward.”

Benjamin left the Panthers’ Week Six loss to Philadelphia after the bursa sac on his surgically repaired knee started to swell. The following week, The Charlotte Observer reported that he left practice because he was frustrated by the condition of his knee. He played in Week Seven against Chicago.

Beane also said he is not concerned about Benjamin’s weight. The receiver was body-shamed on social media after he showed up to offseason workouts overweight. At that time, the Observer reported he was close to 270 pounds, but his weight was down to 243 by the start of training camp.

“It’s one thing if you’re overweight in March, April. He wasn’t overweight when he showed up at training camp down there,” Beane said on WGR. “Kelvin’s been playing at a very good weight. I know that just from knowing the people down there. So that’s not a concern.”

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Benjamin also has dealt with an off-field tragedy, as the death of his mother in July left him in a “dark place.”

Benjamin told Charlotte-area reporters that he was going to dedicate “every snap” in 2017 to his mom.

“From losing my mom (and) starting in OTAs with the weight problems and with all that – the bullying on social media. But I’m built for it,” he told the Observer in September. “I’ve always been going against something like that. But I’m grinding. My mom raised me right.”

Beane said the Bills were still determining Wednesday whether Benjamin would make his debut Thursday.

"We'll see. Our guys are looking at it," he said. "If they think they can get this done and get him out there to play well and not hinder anything, then he would play tomorrow night. It is a short timeline, so no promises there. If not, I would say you'd expect to see him here when we come back to Orchard Park" to face the Saints in Week 10.

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A short week will keep the Bills from getting a pair of starters back Thursday night.

Cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and tight end Charles Clay (knee) were ruled out by the team following Wednesday's walk-thru practice. The injury news might not be all bad, though, as safety Jordan Poyer (knee) and linebacker Ramon Humber (thumb) were listed as questionable.

Poyer missed the Week Eight win over the Raiders, while Humber has been out since Week Four.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), guard Richie Incognito (ankle), center Eric Wood (ankle) and wide receiver Zay Jones (shoulder) were listed as full participants Wednesday and are not on the team's final injury report.

The Jets listed defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder, foot) and cornerback Morris Claiborne (foot) as questionable. Neither player was able to practice during the week. Additionally, starting right tackle Brandon Shell is doubtful with a neck injury. He would be replaced by Ben Ijalana or Brent Qvale.

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The Bills made a practice squad move Wednesday, signing tight end Jason Croom and releasing tight end Ryan O'Malley. Croom, 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, spent training camp with the Bills, but was waived-injured by the team Aug. 20. He's healthy again and was eligible to be re-signed.

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