Not many teams can lose their leading kickoff and punt returners and replace them with someone who might actually be better at both spots. That's the case for the Buffalo Bills, who now shift Leodis McKelvin into the return jobs due to the hamstring injury to C.J. Spiller. (Punt returner Roscoe Parrish, of course, is out for the year.) McKelvin had a 25-yard punt return and a 27-yard kickoff return Sunday vs. Detroit. He also had a 78-yard kickoff return for a TD called back by a questionable holding penalty.
"He’s going to have to carry the load for us in the return department here for a little while," coach Chan Gailey said of McKelvin. "It’s certainly a luxury to have somebody with his ability to be able to go back there to return kickoffs and return punts. We’ll continue to try to develop some other people. Hopefully we’ll get C.J. back sooner rather than later."
Sitting out Wednesday's practice were Spiller, Corey McIntyre, Cordaro Howard, Eric Wood, Shawne Merriman, Demetrius Bell and Spencer Johnson. Gailey said he expects all will be ready for Sunday against Cincinnati except Spiller, Johnson and Merriman.
On punt returns, if the Bills are looking to give McKelvin a rest they could use Fred Jackson or Donald Jones. Jones also can do kickoff returns.