Report: Bills forgot to charge batteries for QB headset

The Bills' self-inflicted, though unintentional, communication problems contributed to their loss in London on Sunday.
Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills were fresh out of batteries but still making noise in their 34-31 loss to the Jaguars in London. Unfortunately, that noise was static in the wireless headset between quarterback EJ Manuel and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, which does not help the cause when you’re already as challenged at the quarterback position as Manuel is.

Bills coach Rex Ryan complained about the issue in the postgame press conference, though at the time the culprit was unknown.

“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. But this one was absolutely miserable. I mean, it’s unacceptable is what it is,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t say it was the entire game, but it was a majority of the game. It was unbelievable. Had everything — static, you couldn’t hear anything. A frustrating time obviously in those circumstances. That’s why you saw EJ having to come and run over to get the call with Greg trying to yell it into him quite a few times.”

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the communication issues were a result of using batteries that were not fully charged. Once the batteries were changed — maybe they still have Radio Shacks in London? — the communications problems ceased. That assertion is backed up by a Manuel quote given before the battery fiasco was uncovered.

“I don’t know the technical reasons why it wasn’t working and why it was working at certain times,” Manuel told The Buffalo News. “We finally got it fixed.”

The Bills fell behind 27-3 by halftime as Manuel parlayed his trouble knowing what play he was supposed to run into three interceptions. Buffalo rallied to take a 31-27 lead because it was playing Jacksonville, only to see the Jaguars bounce back with a late touchdown for the win because they were playing the Bills.

Sigh. Only in Buffalo. Or in this case, London. Leave it to the Bills to find a way to make the most bizarre forms of incompetence international.

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