Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly’s Cancer Returns

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly's Cancer Returns

Jim Kelly might have surgery in two days on a recurrence of cancer in his jaw, nine months after the Hall of Fame quarterback announced he was free of the disease.

“Surgery tentatively scheduled for Thursday,” Kelly’s wife, Jill, said in an Instagram post yesterday. “And every day we prepare, get stronger, trust God.”

She wrote in a blog post on March 21 that the cancer had returned.

Kelly spent 11 seasons with the Bills and was the face of Bills teams that made four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s, only to lose them all. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Jim and Jill Kelly established the Hunter’s Hope Foundation in Buffalo in 1997 after their son, Hunter, was born with Krabbe disease, an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given little more than three years to live, Hunter died at age 8 in 2005.

– The NFL officiating department will help referees rule on instant replay reviews starting next season.

League owners passed a rule Tuesday allowing referees to consult with director of officiating Dean Blandino and his staff to help determine whether a call should be upheld or overturned. NFL officials said the change should speed up the process.

Blandino and other staff will be monitoring the games from league offices in New York, and they will immediately begin reviewing challenges before the referee even gets to his monitor. They can make recommendations on what replays to look at, but the referee still will make the final decision.

Blandino said the new process will be faster and make more eyes available to help in the reviews.

The owners also banned roll-up blocks to the side of a player. In the past, the rule only barred such blocks from behind.

Players no longer will be allowed to dunk the football over the crossbar of the goalposts in celebration.

– Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he is “optimistic” the team will sign a veteran running back to back up Le’Veon Bell.

The possibilities include former Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew, who last week visited with the Steelers; and former New England Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount, who will meet with Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert on Friday when they return from the NFL owners meetings.

– The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are gathering information on an incident in which receiver Mike Williams allegedly was stabbed in the leg by his brother.

Williams, who signed a six-year, $40 million contract before last season, was treated and released from a hospital for a thigh wound Sunday.

The Hillsborough County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office said the fifth-year pro’s younger brother, Eric Baylor, turned himself in Monday night. Baylor, 23, was held on $1,000 bond.

Eyal Vernon