NFL notes: Bills QB EJ Manuel back on the field

He hopes to play in season opener

Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel participated in warm-ups and individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel participated in warm-ups and individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.

Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel returned to practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday after missing two weeks because of a left knee injury.

Manuel participated in warm-ups and individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media. He moved well and did not appear to show any effects from the injury. He was wearing a small brace on his left knee underneath his black spandex.

“He looked good,’’ Bills coach Doug Marrone said. ‘‘I say that not knowing what can happen in the next couple days, but as far as today I think he looked good.’’


Manuel had been out since being hurt Aug. 16 in Buffalo’s second exhibition game. He had what the team referred to as a ‘‘minor procedure’’ on the knee Aug. 18. The Bills have remained hopeful the first-round pick would return in time to start the team’s season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 8.

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Safety Jairus Byrd, (plantar fasciitis), who missed all of the offseason after receiving the franchise tag, practiced on a limited basis after getting a second opinion on his injured foot. Running back C.J. Spiller returned to practice after spending a week with his family in his hometown of Lake Butler, Fla. Spiller’s step-grandfather allegedly killed two people and shot two others before committing suicide Aug. 24.

Manuel topped the list of returning players. The Bills plan to give Manuel his first reps in team drills since the injury on Monday. Marrone had previously said that he would like the rookie to be fully practicing by Wednesday in order for him to have a chance of starting the season opener.

‘‘If we can have him practicing Wednesday and we feel that he’s good enough and mentally ready to play, then he’s going to play,’’ Marrone said.

Jets claim Green

The Jets bolstered their backfield by claiming running back Alex Green off waivers from the Packers. Green led Green Bay in rushing last season. The Jets also were awarded tackle Ben Ijalana from Indianapolis and linebacker Scott Solomon from Tennessee off waivers. To make room on the roster, the Jets released running back Kahlil Bell and former UConn linebacker Danny Lansanah, and put linebacker Josh Mauga on injured reserve.


The Jets also added six players to their practice squad: ex-Boston College tight end Chris Pantale, receiver Michael Campbell, linebacker Troy Davis, defensive tackle Tevita Finau, safety Rontez Miles, and offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts.

Giants sign Talley

The Giants signed seven players to their practice squad, including former UMass receiver JulianTalley, who was in the team’s camp last season and was re-signed in July. Talley was told Friday he had failed to make the 53-man roster before the Giants brought him back Sunday, along with defensive ends Adewale Ojomo and Matt Broha, offensive linemen Stephen Goodin and Eric Herman, receiver Marcus Harris, and cornerback Charles James.

GM takes the blame

While Vince Young’s performance in the preseason played a big role in him getting released, Packers general manager Ted Thompson said there’s someone else who also deserves some of the blame: himself.

In the preseason, Young completed only 26 of 49 passes (53.1 percent) with one touchdown, no interceptions, and three sacks (71.6 rating) in four appearances. The Packers may enter their opener at San Francisco next Sunday with unproven B.J. Coleman as the backup to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Even though Young had piqued Thompson’s interest earlier this spring, the Packers didn’t sign him until Aug. 6.


‘‘Quite frankly, it probably wasn’t fair to Vince,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘We threw a lot on his plate and the fault is probably mine. I probably should have had him in here earlier. He was a great teammate, he seemed like a very humble good guy. You guys all talked to him, so we enjoyed his time here and like I say, if there was fault it was probably mine.’’

Browns keep busy

The Browns continued overhauling their roster, terminating the contracts of running back Brandon Jackson and Kellen Davis. The team also claimed six players off waivers while waiving linebacker L.J. Fort, offensive linemen Caylin Hauptmann, and Jarrod Shaw, and fullback Brad Smelley. Cleveland’s roster is in flux one week before the season opener against Miami. The Browns remain without a kicker after terminating Shayne Graham’s contract and cutting Brandon Bogotay on Saturday . . . The Lions released linebacker Rocky McIntosh, 15 days after signing the seven-year veteran. McIntosh played six seasons for the Redskins before starting nine games for the Rams in 2012 . . . The Raiders claimed guard Antoine McClain off waivers from Baltimore and defensive tackle Brian Sanford from Cleveland, while releasing punter Chris Kluwe and waiving quarterback Tyler Wilson . . . The Chargers traded a 2015 conditional seventh-round draft pick to the Cowboys for defensive tackle Sean Lissemore and claimed defensive lineman Drake Nevis from the Colts and linebacker Terrell Manning from the Packers . . . The Jaguars were awarded seven players off waivers, including receiver Stephen Burton, formerly of the Vikings, defensive back Winston Guy (Seahawks), tight end Clay Harbor (Eagles), guard Jacques McClendon (Falcons), linebacker Chris McCoy (Eagles), linebacker J.T. Thomas (Bears), and tight end D.J. Williams (Packers) . . . The Titans signed five players to their practice squad, including rookie linebacker Jonathan ‘‘Tig’’ Willard, who helped rescue a woman and her children from a burning car while on his way to training camp . . . Thin at linebacker with All-Pro Von Miller serving a six-game suspension to start the season, the Broncos claimed Adrian Robinson off waivers from Philadelphia and released fullback Jacob Hester . . . The Bears claimed defensive end David Bass off waivers and waived veteran defensive end Cheta Ozougwu. A seventh-round draft pick by the Raiders this year, Bass was an All-American at Division 2 Missouri Western.