Ryan's banged-up Bills can spoil Jets' playoff hopes
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills won't be making the playoffs this season.
But they can still affect the AFC postseason picture.
The coach's new team has a chance to spoil the playoff hopes of his old team in Sunday's season finale.
But the banged-up Bills (7-8) continue to lose players and have gone in the opposite direction of the New York Jets (10-5) since the previous time the two teams met.
Kick coverage specialist and reserve wide receiver Marcus Easley became the latest player placed on injured reserve. Easley dislocated his left kneecap and sustained a compound fracture while covering a punt during Sunday's 16-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
''This is a major, major injury,'' Ryan said. ''(Doctors) say he will come back from it. So it is just going to take time, but he should be fine.
Buffalo filled Easley's roster spot by claiming receiver Leonard Hankerson off waivers, two days after he was released by New England. Hankerson spent the previous four seasons in Washington, and has 107 catches for 1,408 yards and nine touchdowns in 40 games.
The Bills got a better medical update on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who left Sunday's game because of a pinched nerve in his neck that caused him to lose feeling in his hands. Ryan said Dareus was feeling better after the game and hopes to play against the Jets.
''We will see how that goes during the week,'' Ryan said.
Ryan hopes cornerback Ronald Darby (groin) will return after missing one game. Linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle) has missed four games and is uncertain to play Sunday. Rookie right guard John Miller (ankle), safety Bacarri Rambo (shoulder/knee) and cornerback Ron Brooks (neck) are also battling nagging injuries.
The Bills have already placed several starters on injured reserve: defensive tackle Kyle Williams (knee), cornerback Stephon Gilmore (shoulder), safety Aaron Williams (neck), and wide receivers Robert Woods (groin) and Percy Harvin (knee/hip) on injured reserve. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson (illness) is on the non-football injury list.
Most of the injured Bills played in Buffalo's 22-17 win on Nov. 12 at the Meadowlands.
The Bills are motivated by the chance to be a factor in the AFC playoff race.
''This will be a playoff game for us,'' left guard Richie Incongnito said after Sunday's game.
It's as close as it will get for the Bills, who will miss the playoffs for the 16th straight season.
Ryan said on Sunday that he'd rather the Bills were in playoff contention than a spoiler role. Ryan maintained on Monday that facing his former team added no extra meaning to the final game.
''Just us getting a win against a good football team is great,'' Ryan said. ''I don't care if we play East Carolina, you want to get a win, period.''
The Jets fired Ryan at the end of last season after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
Under new coach Todd Boyles - and with former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick leading an offense coordinated by former Bills head coach Chan Gailey - the Jets have won five in a row and can clinch a wild-card berth with a win in Buffalo.
''We know we are facing a team that is red hot,'' Ryan said. ''This team is a complete football team. No surprise they have the record they have.''
Ryan acknowledged that Bills players may be motivated by the opportunity to keep their AFC East rivals out of the playoffs.
''I think guys do get revved up,'' Ryan said. ''This is your last shot at it this year, so you get to play against a team that has everything riding on it.''
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