Pregame warmups may be more interesting than usual at Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams.
Early arriving fans may want to check out the field-goal range of the Rams’ Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein, who is having one of the greatest seasons ever for a rookie kicker.
Zuerlein has seven field goals of 50 or more yards this season, one short of the NFL season record shared by Morten Andersen and Jason Hanson.
The forecast for Sunday’s game calls for a temperature of 41 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain and wind of 10 mph. That’s not strong for Orchard Park but could enhance Zuerlein’s range when he’s with the wind.
Zuerlein, from Missouri Western, kicked field goals of 53 and 54 yards in the win over San Francisco last week.
In Week Four he became the first kicker ever to boot a 50-yarder and a 60-yarder in the same game. The 60-yarder was an NFL rookie record. Zuerlein is 21 for 26 on the season.
Keep an eye out Sunday for the young Rams assistant coach calling defensive signals from the sidelines. It’s Blake Williams, the son of former Bills head coach Gregg Williams. Blake Williams, 27, was a second-team All-Western New York cornerback for Clarence High in 2002 and played collegiately at Princeton. He’s linebackers coach for the Rams after spending the previous three seasons as a defensive assistant with New Orleans.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has described the defensive play-calling as a committee approach. By all appearances, it looks like Williams is making the calls. Williams has no shortage of defensive minds communicating with him on his headset, even with his father serving a suspension for the New Orleans bounty scandal. Fisher is a defensive coach. Assistant head coach Dave McGinnis is the former Cardinals head coach and a long-time coordinator. Secondary coach Chuck Cecil is a former coordinator.
Bills interior offensive lineman David Snow has deep roots in the United States. Real deep. He has a distant relative, Constance Hopkins, who was on the Mayflower.
“She came over with the Mayflower group,” Snow said. “She was a great, great, great something. It’s way down the line (of his ancestors). Then she married a Snow a year later when he came over on a ship from England. She ended up having an ungodly amount of children, and all of them lived.”
Snow found out about the connection from a cousin. Only 102 people were on the Mayflower, which landed in Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. Snow hails from Longview, Texas. His father played football at Southeastern Oklahoma.
Snow started 32 of 52 games played at the University of Texas. He started all 13 games his senior year at left guard and all 12 games his junior year at center.
Both he and Kraig Urbik have worked at center this week, and coach Chan Gailey would not commit Thursday on which player would be at center and which would be at right guard.
Sam Young’s stint as starting right tackle went from a one-game trial to a four-game opportunity on Wednesday. The Bills placed Chris Hairston on injured reserve due to his ankle injury. Hairston had started the previous five games at right tackle and three games before that at left tackle. Gailey said Hairston will have surgery to clean up “a loose body” in the ankle.
Meanwhile, the Bills signed tackle Chris Scott off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad and onto the 53-man roster. Scott is a 6-4, 360-pound University of Tennessee product who entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Steelers in 2010.
Cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin (back) and Aaron Williams (knee) were somewhat limited in practice.
Gailey on the two: “Leodis was really no issue. I think he is really getting close to being full speed. Aaron did better. I don’t think he’s 100 percent but he’s getting a lot better.”
Receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring) was limited but seems likely to be ready for the Rams.
Meanwhile, defensive end Mark Anderson was somewhat encouraged by the progress of his knee rehabilitation. Anderson has missed the past seven games.
“It was a torn lateral meniscus,” Anderson said. “They had to go in and scope it out. Then we had a little catch in it and had to re-scope it. That’s all it was.”
“Ever since the second surgery everything’s been rolling along,” Anderson said. “It’s getting a little bit better each day. ... At this point all I can do is take it one day at a time. I’m working hard every day trying to get back.”
Rams leading receiver Danny Amendola, who did not practice Wednesday, was able to work on a limited basis Thursday, the Rams reported. Amendola has been out with a foot injury. Rams starting center Scott Wells (knee) did not practice for a second straight day.