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Spiller very questionable

Bills coach Chan Gailey said "Outside chance - not great" when asked about whether running back C.J. Spiller and defensive tackle Spencer Johnson would play Sunday vs. Pittsburgh.

Both players are nursing sore hamstrings. Johnson worked out on a bicycle and did some running on the sideline during practice Wednesday, held at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Spiller did some working out on the side then went back to the fieldhouse.

Cornerback Terrence McGee had a flareup of the nerve problem that has affected him in the knee area and did not practice. It's not believed to be serious. Also not practicing were: Eric Wood (ankle), Demetrius Bell (knee), Keith Ellison (knee), Chris Kelsay (knee), Kyle Williams (ankle), and Shawne Merriman (calf/Achilles).

Bell should be back at practice Thursday. Wood probably will sit out Thursday and may test himself Friday. Kelsay and Williams are expected to play vs. the Steelers. Merriman is out.

Gailey said Monday it's possible Merriman will miss the rest of the season. Asked if he would play Merriman if the linebacker could be back at any point toward the end of the year, Gailey said yes.

“First of all you’ve got to take into consideration is a guy healthy enough," Gailey said. "In his case is the guy healthy enough to get on the field. Second of all if you get good players, you’ve got to try to use them. I don’t care when it is. You’ve got to try to use good players and he’s proven that he’s been a good player in years past. If it comes to that and it’s down to the last couple of games I think it’s better to know and to let him play and for us to know what he can do in our defense than it is not to know and have it always be questioned.”

Meanwhile, starting safety Troy Polamalu (ankle) was held out of practice for Pittsburgh.

---Mark Gaughan

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