Everything you need to know, plus what I’ll be watching for Sunday when the Buffalo Bills visit the Green Bay Packers:
TV: CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle (play by play), Dan Fouts (color analyst).
Radio: Bills Radio Network. Buffalo-WGR 550 AM; Toronto-Fan 590 AM; Rochester-WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM; Syracuse-WTKW 99.5 FM and WTKV 105.5 FM. Announcers: John Murphy (play-by-play), Mark Kelso (color analyst).
Series history: Bills lead, 8-4. The Bills have won five straight games against teams in the NFC North, with their last loss coming in 2010 to Minnesota.
Bills injury report: Questionable: RB LeSean McCoy (ribs), RB Marcus Murphy (ribs), TE Charles Clay (hip, shoulder), TE Jason Croom (knee). Packers injury report: Out: DL Muhammad Wilkerson. Doubtful: RG Justin McCray (shoulder). Questionable: QB Aaron Rodgers (knee), WR Randall Cobb (hamstring), CB Kevin King (groin), LB Nick Perry (concussion) and S Josh Jones (ankle).
Point spread: The Bills are 9.5-point underdogs at footballlocks.com. The game opened with the Packers being favored by 10.5 points.
Did you know? Bills linebacker Matt Milano and Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went to Dr. Phillips High School together in Orlando, Fla. Milano served as the backup safety as a sophomore behind Clinton-Dix, who was a senior.
Next up: The Bills return home to host Tennessee in Week 5, starting a stretch of games against teams in the AFC South.
Here are five things to watch against the Packers:
1. LeSean McCoy says he’s ready. Is that true? McCoy was definitive when speaking with the media this week, saying he will definitely play against the Packers. Officially, he’s listed as questionable. McCoy was listed as a limited participant throughout the practice week, and wore a red, non-contact jersey throughout the week. McCoy was able to sprint this week, which is what held him out in Week 3, but he has yet to take a hit. It remains to be seen how he’ll respond when that happens. McCoy needs eight points to become the sixth active player with at least 500 in his career.
2. Can Kelvin Benjamin bounce back? The Bills’ No. 1 receiver was honest this week when admitting he was worried about his status as a pending free agent the first couple weeks of the season. Benjamin insists that he’s blocking that out now, and coach Sean McDermott raved about his week of practice. Benjamin knows that he can’t keep dropping the ball. If he can build off the second half he had against Minnesota, it will be a good sign for the offense.
3. What happens at tight end? The Bills listed both Charles Clay and Jason Croom as questionable. Clay is dealing with hip and shoulder injuries, while Croom suffered a knee injury during Thursday’s practice. Both players practiced on a limited basis Friday. Clay is a big part of the Bills’ offense, while Croom has emerged as the No. 2 option at the position and had his first career touchdown in Week 3. If both players can’t go, the Bills would have just two healthy tight ends in Logan Thomas and Khari Lee. Both those players don’t compare to the athleticism of both Clay and Croom.
4. Who gets the start opposite Tre’Davious White? Phillip Gaines was removed from the injury report Friday, meaning he’s healthy enough to play. Does Gaines get the spot back he had in Week 1, or does the team stick with Ryan Lewis, who fared well in his first career start last week against Minnesota. McDermott offered only a “we’ll see” when asked if Lewis had earned more playing time, so this decision is still wide open.
5. Can Micah Hyde make a big play in his return to Green Bay? Hyde’s return to Lambeau Field has been a big story this week, in both Buffalo and Green Bay. ESPN published an article under the headline, “Packers’ defense could use someone like Micah Hyde.” Green Bay’s loss has been Buffalo’s gain, as Hyde made the Pro Bowl last season and has fallen in love with playing for the Bills. He tried to downplay the significance of his return this week, but fellow safety Jordan Poyer could only laugh and say “he’s ready,” when asked about how much Hyde’s looking forward to Sunday. He knows how much a good performance, and win, would mean to his close friend.
Story topics: Charles Clay/ Jason Croom/ Jordan Poyer/ Kelvin Benjamin/ Khari Lee/ LeSean McCoy/ Logan Thomas/ Marcus Murphy/ Matt Milano/ Micah Hyde/ Phillip Gaines/ Ryan Lewis/ Sean McDermott/ Tre'davious White