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Page8D Saturday,October24,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com NFL injury. And Sammy Watkins won’t be playing against Jacksonville on Sunday because of an ankle injury, the latest in a long line of ailments the 2014 first-round draft pick has endured. Thus, the Bills a re down to Robert Woods, Chris Hogan, and recently-signed Denarius Moore, with special teamer Marcus Easley as the No. 4. “ Just like anything else, injuries are gonna be a part of it, situations arise that you just don’t know about, and it tests y our depth,” said Whaley. “And obviously depth is something that we’re trying to build, and when you put backup players in there, you expect them to play as well as they can, and our expectations aren’t gonna dip. But it is a challenge.” Whaley had nothing new to add to the o ngoing Harvin saga, only that he would a ddress the situation when he got back to Buffalo. “We found out early last week that he n eeded to take some time for personal reasons,” Whaley said. “I haven’t been in contact with him. We said we’re gon- n a focus this week on this game, and then when we get back we’ll reach out to him and see where he is.” W haley would not discuss whether he thought Harvin was indeed going to r etire, saying, “We’ll keep that in house.” As for Watkins, Whaley is obviously f rustrated that the player he traded up for in the draft to select No. 4 overall in 2014 has been unable to stay healthy. “ It’s one of those things where we’re gonna look at it after the year, but it is w hat it is,” Whaley said. “Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game everywhere. And it would be different if we saw injury history in college, but he was never injured in college. So it’s just one of those things where it’s that type of year. Some years we don’t have any in- j uries and other years we’ve had a rash, and this is just one of those years we got arash.” Speaking of injuries, quarterback Tyrod Taylor has officially been ruled out of the game, so EJ Manuel will start, and newcomer Josh Johnson will serve as the backup. Whaley traded veteran Matt Cassel to Dallas last month for a 2017 fifth-round draft choice in return. In hindsight, Whaley was asked if he regretted trading Cassel given the cur- r ent quarterback situation. “No, not at all,” he said. “When you l ook at it, coming out of camp, arguably you could say (Cassel) was the number two. So we had the luxury of being able t o come back with Cassel at a reduced r ate (remember, he was waived by the team, then re-signed) and have three q uarterbacks. If you look at the league, m aybe a little over a half the league had three quarterbacks, so it was a luxury. And then when Aaron (Williams) went d own, we needed a spot and the Cowboys called. So in the long run we looked a t is as, you have EJ with a longer shelf life. Arguably you could say he’s got a bigger upside – but that’s the debate, so y ou’re taking half that equation out – and then you get a fifth-rounder in ’17 which you can jockey … I mean a fifth r ound in ’17 you can jockey in the draft this year, or have two picks in the fifth r ound of ’17. So you’re gonna get another player with a longer upside and a bigger shelf life.” Whaley continues to be supportive of Manuel, and he denied that Manuel was kept on the roster instead of Cassel at the end of training camp because Manu el was Buffalo’s first-round draft pick in 2013. “If he didn’t warrant a roster spot, absolutely (he would have been cut),” Whaley said before confirming that the entire organization is on the same page regarding the quarterback situation. “Obviously we have internal debate, but we have external unity.” In other news, the Bills sent offensive guard John Miller home because of adeath in his immediate family. That m eans that Kraig Urbik will start at right tackle alongside right tackle Cyr us Kouandjio, who is starting in place of injured Seantrel Henderson. And kickoff specialist Jordan Gay was re- s igned and flown to London to join the t eam. To make room on the roster, safety Josh Bush was released. M AIORANA@Gannett.com Harvin Continued from Page 1D KEVIN HOFFMAN-USA TODAY SPORTS Bills owner Terry Pegula, left, speaks with general manager Doug Whaley on the field b efore last Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Whaley spoke to reporters in London on F riday. Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has passed the league’s concussion pro- t ocol and should be available for Sund ay’s game against the Pittsburgh Steele rs. Maclin was hurt in last week’s loss in Minnesota. He did not work out early in the week while undergoing tests, but returned to practice Friday on a limited basis. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Maclin “has passed everything. We just have to see tomorrow how he feels. But he did, he went through practice today and did a n ice job with it.” M aclin is the Chiefs’ leading receiver w ith 39 catches for 531yards and a touch- d own. No other wide receiver on the roster has more than eight receptions. Jets: Cornerback Buster Skrine is likely to play Sunday against the New England Patriots despite being limited at practice while recovering from a concussion. Skrine suffered a head injury last Sunday against Washington and is going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. He is listed as probable and says Friday that he needs to pass two more tests before he’s officially cleared to play. Skrine would play an important role i n the Jets’ scheme against the Patriots, particularly defending tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman on short pass plays. Backup running back Bilal Powell (ankle) has been ruled out. Stevan Ridley could make his season debut after tearing two knee ligaments more than a year a go while with the Patriots. Titans: Rookie Marcus Mariota will n ot play Sunday against Atlanta as he recovers from a sprained MCL in his left knee. Zach Mettenberger will start at quarterback. C oach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday that Mariota has been ruled out after missing practice all week. Mariota sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when hit low b y Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon i n last week’s 38-10 loss to the Dolphins. Mariota stayed in the game wearing a brace. Mettenberger started six of the seven games he played last season as a rookie. T he sixth-round draft pick out of LSU s till is looking for his first career win. The Titans (1-4) also will be without wide receiver Harry Douglas (ribs) and s tarting cornerback Perrish Cox (hams tring). 49ers: Safety Antoine Bethea was placed on season-ending injured reserve F riday with a shoulder injury suffered in T hursday night’s 20-3 loss to Seattle. The move cleared room on the 53-man r oster for wide receiver Jerome Simpson’s post-suspension return. The team used a one-game roster exemption for him this past week after Simpson served a six-game penalty for violations of the l eague’s substance abuse policy. B ethea was scheduled for an MRI exam on the shoulder at nearby Stanford. He grabbed Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin with his right shoulder in the second quarter and received a face mask penalty, and that’s believed to be when he got hurt. The 31-year-old Bethea, in his second season with the Niners and 10th in the NFL, had started all 23 games since join- i ng the 49ers as a free agent in March l ast year. He made 44 tackles and a sack t his year. R edskins: Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver, receiver DeSean Jackson and center Kory Lichtensteiger will miss Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of injuries. All four of those starters were sidelined last week, too: Hall by a toe problem, Culliver a knee, Jackson a hamstring and Lichtensteiger a thumb. Two other starters were listed Friday as questionable by coach Jay Gruden because of concussions — left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jordan Reed — b ut he said both are expected to be fully cleared and available against the Bucs. Running back Chris Thompson was listed as doubtful with a bruised back after missing practice Friday. NFL fines: Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon has been fined $37,363 by the NFL for two hits on Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. T he league confirmed the fines Friday. V ernon was docked for a pair of roughing-the-passer infractions. On the hit that hurt Mariota, Vernon was fined $17,363. He then was given a $20,000 fine f or hitting Mariota in the head and neck area on another player. Mariota injured his left medial collateral ligament on Vernon’s low hit and will not play this week against Atlanta. G iants defensive end Damontre M oore was fined $20,000 for roughing the passer against Philadelphia’s Sam Bradford. He was penalized on the play. Also fined was Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien, who was flagged for a late h it on Texans QB Brian Hoyer and d ocked $8,681. NFL ROUNDUP Chiefs’ Maclin clears concussion test ASSOCIATED PRESS AP Jets cornerback Buster Skrine sacks Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill in an Oct. 4 game.