Alex Carrington says he stopped lamenting the awful timing of his season-ending injury a long time ago.
Carrington, the Buffalo Bills’ fourth-year defensive end, was lost for the season in Week Three due to a torn quadriceps muscle. He had earned a starting job out of training camp and was hoping for a big season in the final year of his rookie contract with the Bills.
“It happens,” Carrington said in the Bills’ locker room Thursday. “I dwelled on that for probably 15 minutes and then it was all focused on I’ve got to get better. Because what can I do about it?”
Carrington’s injury landed him on the injured-reserve list. The injury requires a lengthy rehabilitation, but Carrington expects to be fine for training camp.
“I’m not going to rush it,” he said. “I have plenty of time to recover. That was the biggest thing about it, that it happened early in the season.”
Carrington said he would like to stay with the Bills, if his agent and the team can strike a deal.
“I like it here in Buffalo, I really do,” he said. “It’s the perfect defense for me and everything. I love the community.”
The Bills just signed defensive end Alan Branch to a contract extension. Branch took over Carrington’s 5-technique starting spot, usually lining up over the outside shoulder of the tackle on the strong side of the offensive formation.
Given his injury, Carrington might be in position to sign a shorter-term deal than he had been seeking before the season started, so he could prove his value and hit the market again before he’s 30. Carrington is only 26 years old. Carrington said he doesn’t think Branch’s re-signing precludes him from returning to the Bills.
“Absolutely I’d stay here, no question,” he said. “I have a great relationship with everybody here, from the coaches all the way up.”
“I can’t dwell on it too much,” Carrington said. “The cookie is going to crumble however it’s going to crumble. I’m just rehabbing and getting better, and I’ll let all that stuff work itself out. You can’t worry too much about what you can’t control.”
Besides quarterback EJ Manuel, the only other Bills player who was limited in practice was running back Fred Jackson (ribs). Jackson said he will play Sunday. Safety Aaron Williams, who missed the Miami game with sore ribs, did not practice Thursday. He’s looking doubtful for Sunday. The funeral for Stevie Johnson’s mother is today in California.
Nevada head coach Brian Polian, the St. Francis High product, watched practice.
Pats starting safety Devin McCourty didn’t practice Thursday due to a concussion suffered in Sunday’s game against Baltimore. Duron Harmon, a rookie third-round pick, likely would start if McCourty does not play.
The Patriots listed 11 players as limited. The other starters who didn’t practice fully were: safety Steve Gregory (knee), left tackle Nate Solder (concussion), right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle), cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (knee), linebackers Brandon Spikes (knee) and Rob Ninkovich (ankle) and running back Shane Vereen (groin). Ninkovich was added to the injury report Thursday.
New England has been penalized only 65 times, tied for the second fewest in the league. The Pats’ 594 penalty yards are third fewest in the NFL.
Buffalo has been penalized 104 times, tied for eighth most in the league. The Bills’ 898 penalty yards are the seventh most in the league.
Marrone on the number of penalties his team has taken:
“Obviously I look at it from the standpoint of unforced errors first, meaning the things you do that you have full control of that happen during the course of a play,” he said, referring to things like false starts and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. “Those are inexcusable. Those should never happen, whether it’s from a players’ standpoint or even us as coaches. We have a chance to create penalty situations.”
“Then next thing I do, because I’ve been through all of these penalty studies, is I just look at it from the game standpoint,” Marrone said. “If we’re at 10, which is obviously extremely high, and the other team is at 10, you can kind of see the way the game was officiated. If you’re at four and the other team’s at four, you can see it. If you’re at 10 and the other team’s at two, there’s a problem.”
In the season opener, Buffalo had 10 penalties for 75 yards, while New England had four for 30. The league average for all teams is 93 penalties for 803.5 yards.