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The Latest: Bills Make Change, Stand on Sideline for Anthem | Sports News

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The Latest on Week 1 in the NFL (all times EDT):

The Buffalo Bills stood on the sideline, rather than retreating to their locker room, for the national anthem for their season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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This is a switch from last season and their preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last month, when the entire Bills team waited in the locker room until after the national anthem was performed.

Bills receiver Cole Beasley was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos as he was introduced among the starters. Beasley has been the team’s most vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccinations, and even released a song in July about not wanting to be vaccinated.

The Tennessee Titans honored Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss as their 12th Titan before kickoff.

Knauss was a native of Corryton, Tennessee, and among the 13 Americans killed in the recent attack on the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. Knauss served in the U.S. Army’s 9th Battalion, 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne).

The Titans, like the rest of the NFL, commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and used season ticket members who are veterans to help display four U.S. flags on the field capped by a B-52 flyover from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

The first full Sunday of the NFL season is about to begin with seven new head coaches making debuts with their respective teams. Two games will feature an all-rookie coaching matchup.

Jacksonville’s Urban Meyer gets his first chance at pro football after a long and successful stint as a college coach. He’ll have rookie No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence under center when the Jaguars travel to face the Houston Texans, who also have a new coach in David Culley.

The Eagles and new coach Nick Sirianni hit the road to face the Atlanta Falcons, who hired Arthur Smith during the offseason.

The other three head coaches making their debuts in the early games include the Chargers’ Brandon Staley, Lions’ Dan Campbell and Jets’ Robert Saleh.

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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