NFL Wire News

Bills’ RT Kouandjio in liine for first career start


The Sports Xchange

LONDON — Cyrus Kouandjio was the Buffalo Bills’ second-round pick in 2014, but to say his NFL career has gotten off to a slow and disappointing start would be an understatement. Last year, he was beaten out for the right tackle job by fellow rookie Seantrel Henderson, a seventh-round choice, and played only three snaps on offense all season.

Henderson is still the starter this year, but that won’t be the case when the Bills take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday.

Henderson is back in Buffalo going through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Kouandjio may get the first start of his career. The Bills signed veteran Jordan Mills, who has 29 career NFL starts, off the waiver wire this week, and coach Rex Ryan was non-committal on who would start, but Kouandjio probably has the edge.

“We’re happy to have both guys here, we’ll see what happens, but obviously Cyrus has been here,” said Ryan.

Kouandjio took over for Henderson in the first quarter last week, and Ryan said of that performance, “I thought it wasn’t a perfect job, but he stepped in in some tough situations and I thought he did a decent job.”

Kouandjio said he’ll be ready to go if needed, and it will be exciting to finally get his first start.

“There’s a lot of ups and downs in the NFL,” Kouandjio said. “The biggest thing I learned about myself is resilience, playing through all types of situations with my mind, with my body. Sucking it up and going.”

— Cornerback Leodis McKelvin practiced for the first time this season, but remains on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List and may stay there for another week unless coach Rex Ryan believes he’s truly good to go.

“We’re going to obviously be smart with him and ask him to be smart about it,” Ryan said. “But there’s only one way to get ready for football and that’s to actually get in there and start doing some football drills. So, yes, he will start at that. Is he going to be limited? Absolutely.”

McKelvin can practice for three weeks without being placed on the 53-man roster, and with no pressing need at cornerback, the Bills may opt to ease him back in.

“Feels pretty good to get back out there, feel rusty as hell, but just getting back on my feet it felt pretty good,” McKelvin said after practice Wednesday in London. “That will be the coaches decision when they take me off this list, but pretty much I’m just trying to get back to football speed.”

NOTES: RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) practiced Wednesday and it appears that he will be able to play Sunday, while Karlos Williams remained in Buffalo and is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol for the third week. … QB Tyrod Taylor practiced Wednesday in London, but split the first-team reps with EJ Manuel. He said his knee is making progress, but it’s uncertain what his status will be for the game. … WR Percy Harvin did not make the trip to London, and it was because of a personal issue, though Rex Ryan did divulge what that was. He will not play Sunday. … WR Sammy Watkins did not practice Wednesday and his availability for the game is most likely doubtful. He sprained his ankle in the Bengals game. … DT Kyle Williams has a knee injury that will keep him out several weeks. Corbin Bryant will start in place of Williams.

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