Young offensive tackle Demetrius Bell will be ready to start practice on Thursday when the team opens training camp at St. John Fisher College, team general manager Buddy Nix said.
Bell is recovering from a knee injury that ended his season in the ninth game of last year. He did a lot of individual work on the side during spring practices but never lined up with the offense in team drills.
The Bills are counting on Bell, a seventh-round draft pick in 2008, to improve this year as the starting left tackle.
"He’s really doing good, he really is," Nix said. "Now I tell you we’re going to try to be smart with him and not take him out there and grind him twice a day. But he’s really further along than we hoped at this time."
Second-year man Jamon Meredith is Bell's backup. Rookie Ed Wang and second-year man Nick Hennessey are the other left tackles on the roster.
Is Nix comfortable with that lineup heading into the season? "Well, you know, you’d like to have maybe added a guy in the mix. I think we’ve been down this road so many times. If it’s a clear improvement at that position, then you do it. But if its not, I don’t think you retard the process that you hope these young guys go through. They’ve got great ability. They’ve got everything except time on the job."