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OL depth remains concern

The Bills' exhibition finale against Detroit Thursday didn't do much to ease concerns about offensive line depth. Detroit’s backup defensive front controlled the line of scrimmage, and second-string Bills quarterback Tyler Thigpen was sacked five times.

The Bills top six linemen are locks: Demetrius Bell, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik, Erik Pears and Chris Hairston. Hairston played as second-team left tackle vs. Detroit and struggled, which was no surprise. He projects better as a right tackle in the NFL, at least until he gains experience. And he needs seasoning. The expectation here is the Bills think Hairston will be OK if called upon to fill in for a brief stretch. Ed Wang, who has been the No. 3 tackle much of the summer, sat out the game with an injury. It will be interesting to see if he makes the team. Backup guards Mansfield Wrotto and Chad Rinehart and fifth tackle Cordaro Howard didn't shine vs. the Lions. Backup center Geoff Hangartner would give the Bills a proven interior player as insurance, presuming he makes the final cut. The Bills normally keep nine offensive linemen, but some teams keep eight, some keep 10. Wrotto has experience as a backup at both guard and tackle. This is an area where the Bills could look to add a player off the waiver wire. However, O-line depth league-wide is not great. Bottom line: It would be good if the Bills stayed healthy along the O-line.

---Mark Gaughan

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