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Bills Notebook: Ragland playing well for Chiefs

Reggie Ragland never saw the field for an official game during his rookie season after the Buffalo Bills made him a second-round draft pick in 2016.

A training-camp knee injury took care of that.

The linebacker never saw regular-season action with the Bills in his second season, either. A trade last August that sent him to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick took care of that.

Sunday, Ragland gets to face his former team when the Bills take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

He was expected to be a far better fit for the Chiefs' 3-4 base defensive scheme -- similar to the one for which he was drafted with Rex Ryan in his second year as the Bills' coach in '16 -- than in the 4-3 base that came with Sean McDermott this year.

Although the Chiefs have lost four of their last five games and have a defense that ranks 28th overall, 29th against the run and 28th against the pass, Ragland has been doing a solid job.

In seven games, including five starts, he has been credited with 20 tackles, including 15 initial hits.

"He's doing a nice job," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week during a conference call with media covering the Bills. "He had a good game for us this past week. Like a lot of cases, sometimes change of scenery is good. Listen, I understand how this league works. I've been a part of that -- that change of scenery (going from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Chiefs) -- so I get it.

"It's part of the business, and sometimes it can work out for you. He's making the best of it right now."

In grading for Week 11 games, the analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Ragland third among NFL linebackers at 87.3. Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict (89.2) was first, followed by Seattle's Bobby Wagner (87.6).

"When he started we had no idea when he’d be ready," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton told reporters in Kansas City. "I thought he was a really good football player, but (that it) may take some time. I think, since he’s been in there and he’s got the opportunity to practice consistently and get the reps that you need, and then there’s nothing that can replace actual game experience, game speed and the more you see it, the better I think you’re going to get. I think he’s made some nice progress here.”

Asked Friday what he thought about Ragland's performance so far, McDermott said, "It looks like he's doing a good job."


Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn will miss his fifth game this season with ankle and foot problems. Rookie Dion Dawkins will start in his place for the third week in a row, and fifth time this season.

Running back Mike Tolbert (hamstring) and guard John Miller (ankle) have also been ruled out for Sunday.

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin missed his third day of practice with a knee injury he suffered in last Sunday's loss against the Los Angeles Chargers, and his listed as questionable.

The Bills have two other receivers, Jordan Matthews (knee) and Deonte Thompson (ankle), and tight end Charles Clay (knee) also listed as questionable. Matthews, Thompson and Clay were limited in Friday's practice.

Kicker Stephen Hauschka (right hip), safety Micah Hyde (knee) and wide receiver Andre Holmes (ankle) were full participants.

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