Bills receiver Matthews has cast removed from right thumb
By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills receiver Jordan Matthews isn’t going to let a broken right thumb prevent him from making a few catches when his other hand works just fine.
Though not yet cleared for practice, Matthews spent time catching passes solely with his left hand on the sideline Monday, after the Bills held a brief session upon returning from their bye week.
“I’m trying to make sure I hone in on all my other skills,” Matthews said. “My left hand is my off hand, so I feel if anything, this is time for me to actually work on one of my deficiencies.”
Matthews is taking his recovery one hand at a time after having the cast removed from his right thumb, which he broke during a 23-17 win at Atlanta on Oct. 1. Aside from receiving acupuncture treatments, Matthews said he is also squeezing a stress ball to increase the strength in his thumb.
Coach Sean McDermott listed Matthews as day to day, but cautioned it’s premature to determine whether the starter would be cleared for practice this week or potentially play against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
“Coming out of the bye week, he made a tremendous amount of progress,” McDermott said. “We’ll know a little more tomorrow at this point.”
The Bills (3-2) could use a boost on offense .
At the time Matthews was hurt, the fourth-year player was leading Bills receivers with 10 catches for 162 yards, and scored his first touchdown of the season against Atlanta.
Buffalo’s offensive threats were thinned further in a 20-16 loss at Cincinnati the following week, when starting tight end Charles Clay was sidelined by a left knee injury. Clay is listed week to week.
Buffalo managed just 221 yards against the Bengals, and hasn’t topped 300 yards since totaling 408 in a season-opening 21-12 win over the New York Jets.
Matthews is eager to return and contribute.
“I think everybody’s pretty optimistic going forward,” he said. “But I know how much I really want to get back out there, be myself and help out this team.”
This is the second time Matthews has been hurt since being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in August on the same day Buffalo dealt receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams.
Matthews missed a majority of the preseason after hurting his chest during his first practice with the Bills.
Buffalo made a roster move Monday by activating offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, a week after he completed serving a 10-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Henderson has acknowledged using marijuana to relieve the effects of Crohn’s disease.
Henderson was allowed to practice with the team during the offseason and play in preseason games. He was also allowed to attend team meetings and work out at the Bills facility while serving his suspension.
Buffalo released cornerback Greg Mabin to open a roster spot for Henderson.
NOTES: LB Ramon Humber (broken right thumb) is listed week to week. … DT Marcell Dareus was excused from practice for personal reasons. … Starting CB E.J. Gaines returned to practice on a limited basis after missing the game against Cincinnati because of a groin injury.
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