By LARRY LAGE/AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Dwayne Washington likely secured a spot on Detroit’s season-opening roster with a 58-yard touchdown run and Jake Rudock boosted his chances with three touchdown passes, helping the Lions close the preseason with a 31-0 win over Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.
Washington, a seventh-round pick from Washington, used a burst of speed to get around the left side and up the sideline on the third snap of the game. He had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and scored on a run earlier in the preseason, leading to the Lions cutting Stevan Ridley last week.
Like a vast majority of starters on both sides, Washington watched much of the game after he ran for 68 yards on seven carries.
Rudock lofted a 2-yard TD pass to Jay Lee to give Detroit a 17-0 lead late in the first half. He drove Detroit down the field late in the third quarter, converting third downs with his arms and leg, and scrambled to buy time on a 10-yard TD pass to Jace Billingsley, who snagged the ball with his left hand. Rudock connected with rookie tight end Adam Fuehne on another TD pass, putting the Lions up 31-0 midway through the fourth quarter.
Bills coach Rex Ryan seemed determined to get his team on and off the field as quickly as possible, trying to limit injuries and to avoid showing future opponents anything to help them game plan. It didn’t go as planned, though, because he had a handful of players go down with injuries.
Buffalo ran plays out of the wishbone early in the game, using a formation it likely wouldn’t in the regular season, and punt returner Greg Salas called for a fair catch once in the first half – even though a Lions player wasn’t within 15 yards of him.
Bills: QB Cardale Jones entered the game early in the second quarter after EJ Manuel was just 1 of 5 for 10 yards. The fourth-round pick from Ohio State did not make the most of the opportunity. Jones had two passes deflected near the line on one drive early in the fourth and the second one was intercepted by Brandon Copeland.
Lions: Rudock, a sixth-round selection from Michigan, may give the franchise a young quarterback to develop behind starter Matthew Stafford and veteran backup Dan Orlovsky. He has shown the ability to make plays and limit mistakes this preseason much as he did after a slow start under Jim Harbaugh last season at Michigan.
Bills: CB Sammy Seamster stunted his stock, missing a chance to tackle Washington before he sprinted down the sideline and getting beat on Rudock’s first TD pass. WR Kain Colter may have hurt his bid to be one of the final spots on the team, dropping a long pass from Jones.
Bills: RB James Wilder walked off the field after being hurt while covering a punt and was evaluated for a possible concussion. DE Jerel Worthy was helped off the field in the last minute of the first half. Worthy was evaluated for a concussion and cleared to return, a good sign for the Bills, who need depth on the line with DT Marcell Dareus missing the first four games for violating the substance abuse policy. TE Blake Annen (neck), S Colt Anderson (foot), OT Marquis Lucas (ankle) also were injured.
Lions: Did not announce any injuries during game.
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