Buffalo Bills executive Mary Owen and linebacker Bryan Scott both received honors Wednesday.
Owen, the team’s executive vice president of strategic planning, was named to the seven-member board of directors of a newly formed NFL Foundation, the league announced.
Scott, in his sixth season with Buffalo, was named the Bills’ Walter Payton Man of the Year.
The new NFL Foundation will focus on youth football, health and safety and community projects. It will award more than $23 million in grants in 2013. The foundation’s formation follows the restructuring of the NFL’s previous charitable arms - NFL Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund.
Owen has varied responsibilities with the Bills, including serving as executive director of the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. She manages the franchise’s initiative to play games in Toronto and expand its presence in Southern Ontario, oversees the team’s community relations department, serves on the NFL’s Super Bowl advisory committee and is president of the Bills’ Youth Foundation.
Joining Owen on the board are Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, Vikings owner Leonard Wilf, Charlotte Jones Anderson of the Cowboys, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, Steelers President Art Rooney II and Titans executive Mike Reinfeldt.
Scott, 31, is a 10th year NFL veteran. He has been a big advocate of the NFL’s Play 60 program, encouraging children to be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day. He has visited schools throughout the community and filmed a Play 60 public service announcement with teammate George Wilson.
Scott also runs his own foundation, called Pick Your Passion for the Arts. He coordinates an “ARTventure” program to take students from Buffalo’s Falk School on monthly field trips to different art and music venues throughout the area. The foundation runs a scholarship and provides students in the Atlanta area financial assistance for arts education. Scott is an accomplished musician, who sings and plays piano, drums and saxophone.
“Bryan Scott has worked hard every day of his NFL career to not only help his team, but the community that surrounds him,” said Gretchen Geitter, Bills vice president of community relations.
Scott will receive a $1,000 grant for his foundation, as will the winners from the 31 other teams. The 32 team finalists will be in the running for the league-wide award, which brings a $25,000 grant.
Sunday’s game in Rogers Centre is a sellout, guaranteed by the Bills’ Toronto business partner, Rogers Communications. The game will be shown on local television in Buffalo.
Tickets, however, still can be purchased. An email sent out by Rogers Wednesday said tickets were 80 percent sold for the game, leaving about 10,400 seats available.
The Seahawks could be without leading receiver Sidney Rice. He suffered a bruised foot, apparently in Seattle’s win over Arizona Sunday, coach Pete Carroll said. He was wearing a boot on the foot Wednesday. Rice has 45 catches for 658 yards and seven touchdowns. Backup cornerback Marcus Trufant (hamstring) did not practice.
Meanwhile, Bills defensive end Mark Anderson (knee) returned to practice. There is an outside chance he may play Sunday. Sitting out with minor injuries were linebacker Nick Barnett (knee), safety Jairus Byrd (shin), defensive end Marcell Dareus (shoulder), defensive tackles Spencer Johnson (knee) and Kyle Williams (ankle), and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (groin). They are expected to be ready for the game.
C.J. Spiller and coach Chan Gailey have cleared the air. Spiller sought an explanation for Gailey’s recurring comments that Spiller gets “winded” during games. Spiller said Monday that he was puzzled about Gailey’s comments and intended to meet with his coach later that day.
“We talked,” Spiller said. “It was very confidential. But I got an understanding of what he said, and he understood what I said. We left it at that. The conversation went great. It wasn’t just about that. It was about other things as well. I think you should be able to go and talk to your boss.”
Said Gailey: “He’s a great guy. He is a true pro. It’s great to have him on our football team on top of being a great player.”