K Rayner accepts another part-time job
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)
After longtime kicker Rian Lindell broke a bone in his right shoulder while trying to make a tackle in Buffalo's loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, the Bills signed the journeyman Rayner to help fill in.
Rayner, who will make his debut Sunday when the Bills (5-3) play at Dallas (4-4), is already on his eighth team - and second this year - in his sixth season.
''These are the kind of jobs here that help you get a permanent job,'' the 29-year-old said. ''I'll never turn down a job. I'll come in here and hopefully do well for as many games as I'm here. Hopefully teams see that, and I get a permanent gig soon.''
After being drafted by Indianapolis in the sixth round in 2005, Rayner dressed for 14 games as a rookie, but was used as a kickoff specialist and attempted just one field goal. The following season he was picked up by Green Bay, where he connected on 26 of 35 field-goal attempts, including a 54-yarder.
But that production wasn't enough to hang onto the job. Since then, he has toiled in San Diego, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Detroit before a one-game stint last month with Oakland filling in for an injured Sebastian Janikowski in a 28-0 loss to Kansas City.
''He's been around, so anybody that's with the Bills that's been on another team has probably played with Dave,'' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ''I know I was with him in Cincinnati. We came out in the same draft, so I know him. He's a good guy, easy going, fits into what we have going on here in the locker room. He's a pro. He gets paid to make kicks, and that's what we expect him to do. I don't think he's going to have any problem coming in and doing that.''
After the Lions' Jason Hanson went down with a knee injury last year, Rayner drilled 13 of 16 field goals in eight games, including seven straight to end the season. But with Hanson healthy to start this season, Rayner was no longer needed on the team he rooted for as a kid while growing up in Detroit.
''There's only 32 jobs,'' he said. ''It's inevitable that every year somebody's going to have an injury, or something's going to happen, so you've got to be ready. I'm happy to be here.''
Bills coach Chan Gailey is happy to have him.
''He had experience,'' Gailey said. ''Having experience was one of the biggest factors.''
Gailey isn't sure how long Lindell will be out after getting hurt while tripping up Joe McKnight on a 59-yard kickoff return to open the second half against the Jets. Lindell subsequently hit a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter, but then was held out in the fourth quarter, with punter Brian Moorman handling the kickoff duties.
Lindell has never missed a game in his nine seasons in Buffalo, and his 204 career field goals and 875 points rank second on the team's all-time lists.
''They're telling me we'll take it a week at a time,'' Gailey said about the injury. ''I'm hoping it's not as long as maybe they're saying that it could be.''
Until Lindell returns, Rayner will don yet another NFL jersey for his collection. But don't count on him putting it in a frame and hanging it up in his house anytime soon.
''My wife actually asked about that because we've got a finished basement, and I want to start putting some stuff up,'' he cracked. ''She said, `We don't have room for all the jerseys,' and I'm like, `Ahhh, I understand.' So I may get a helmet of different teams and put them up somewhere.''
Meanwhile, the Bills signed defensive back Mana Silva to the practice squad on Thursday.