Bills' newly acquired WR Matthews 'week-to-week' with chip fracture in sternum


Bills' newly acquired WR Matthews 'week-to-week' with chip fracture in sternum

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- The revamped group of Buffalo Bills receivers is suddenly down a key addition with Jordan Matthews sidelined indefinitely because of a chip fracture in his sternum.

The Bills list Matthews as week to week, and general manager Brandon Beane told The Associated Press on Monday he's "hopeful" the newly acquired player will be ready for the season opener in four weeks. Beane said the team's medical staff is "still figuring it out," because the timetable for recovery depends on how quickly the bruising subsides and the bone heals.

Matthews hurt the mid-chest bone that connects his rib cage on Sunday, during his first practice since joining the team in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Matthews finished practice before being escorted off the field to be evaluated.

It's unclear when Matthews was hurt, though he did fall hard along the sideline while attempting to make a leaping catch in one-on-one coverage with cornerback Shareece Wright during a team drill.

The Bills are counting on Matthews to fill Sammy Watkins' spot after he was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round draft pick in a separate trade on Friday. Buffalo gave up starting cornerback Ronald Darby to acquire Matthews and a third-round draft pick from Philadelphia.

Coincidentally, one of the reasons the Bills considered Watkins expendable was because of a rash of injuries that have hampered his production during his three seasons in Buffalo. That included a broken left foot that forced the 2014 first-round draft pick to miss eight games last season.

Aside from the draft picks, Matthews was the key addition to address Buffalo's more immediate needs on what is now a retooled group of receivers. Buffalo lost starter Robert Woods and speedster Marquise Goodwin in free agency this past offseason.

The Bills were looking for Matthews to play alongside Anquan Boldin , who was signed last week, and rookie second-round draft pick Zay Jones. Also competing for jobs are Walt Powell and offseason free-agent additions Andre Holmes and Rod Streater.

Though not considered as dynamic of a deep threat as Watkins, Matthews has been consistent in his first three seasons with the Eagles. He was Philadelphia's most productive receiver with 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. He became just the fifth NFL player to top 65 catches and 800 yards in each of his first three seasons.

Matthews would have made his preseason debut Thursday against his former team.

Dr. Matthew DiPaola, a University at Buffalo assistant professor of orthopedics and sports medicine, said a chip fracture involves a small sliver or shell breaking off any bone in the body.

Though he's not treating Matthews or seen the player's medical records, DiPaola said chip fractures don't usually require surgery and are treated through rest and anti-inflammatory medicine. A chip fracture to the sternum could cause a person discomfort when breathing, he said.

Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion) back at Patriots practice Thursday


Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion) back at Patriots practice Thursday

FOXBORO - The Patriots received some very good news on Thursday as starting right tackle Marcus Cannon was back on the practice field in preparation for Sunday's game against the Texans. 

Cannon did not participate in Wednesday's practice and he was listed as having an ankle injury and a concussion. That he was on the field a day later means that he has advanced to the point in the league's concussion protocol that he can participate in practice, but it's unclear what his availability will be for Sunday's game. 

Should Cannon be sidelined, the Patriots would likely go with Cameron Fleming (or LaAdrian Waddle) as their starter at right tackle. But if Cannon can go, the Patriots would certainly take him. The Texans defensive line will be among the most talented that New England sees all season. 

Missing from Thursday's practice were running back Rex Burkhead (ribs) and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee). Burkhead missed Wednesday's session as well, casting some doubt on his availability for Sunday. 

Rob Gronkowski was at the start of practice for the second straight day. He participated in warmups and drills during the media-availability portion of Wednesday's practice but the team announced later in the day that he did not participate due to a groin injury suffered against the Saints. 

Brady-signed Goodell clown towel auctioned off for $6,500

Brady-signed Goodell clown towel auctioned off for $6,500

Perhaps this will finally close the book on Deflategate?

One of the Roger Goodell "clown" towels that Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy had made for the Patriots' season-opener - this one signed by Tom Brady - fetched $6,500 at former Pats offensive lineman Matt Light's charity auction.

A spokeswoman for Light and his Light Foundation confirmed to the Boston Herald that the towel was sold at the live auction at the recent Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out. 

Portnoy, who paid $140,000 to have the towels made and distributed to fans at the Sept. 7 opener, wrote that he would've paid $10,000 to get the Brady-signed towel, which he called "My holy grail."

I would have gladly paid 10k to get my towel back.  Because this would legit be the best memorabilia piece I could ever own.  It would be the perfect final chapter in Deflategate to have this hanging on the wall of Barstool World HQ’s.   So while I think it’s really cool Brady signed the towel it just doesn’t feel right that I don’t own it.