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Merriman confident in return after bye, Gailey unsure

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman says he will "absolutely" be able to get back on the field when the Bills return from their bye week.

"We definitely know what we're dealing with," Merriman said today about his injured Achilles, which flared up in practice last Thursday and kept him out of Sunday's loss to the Giants. "It wasn't something that was really unexpected to happen. It just didn't completely get healthy enough in time for the game. I'll be ready after the bye week."

Bills coach Chan Gailey wasn't as quick to confirm that, though. Gailey was asked about the health of both his starting outside linebackers and their availability for the Bills' game with Washington on Oct. 30 (fellow starter Chris Kelsay has missed the past two games with a strained calf).

"I feel better about Kelsay than I do about Merriman right now, but that's because we don't have the full evaluation in on Merriman right now, since it happened so late in the week last week," Gailey said. "Let's give him a couple days rest and see how it feels later this coming week."

Merriman previously had the Achilles injury -- which has given him trouble off and on the past two seasons -- flare up during training camp.

"We knew we were going to have some types of troubles, little speed bumps, going into the season with what I have," he said. "That was laid out on the table a long time ago."

He said the only treatment is rest -- which the Bills will get this week.

"There's really no rehab you can do for it," Merriman said.

The Bills again weren't able to generate much of a pass rush.

"Myself included, we have to get back there in the backfield and help the secondary out," he said. "It hurts to sit back and watch knowing I could have been some help or some benefit out there on the field. I'm always going to want to play ... but I have to do what's in the best interests for all of us [rather] than go out there and something happens and not be around for even longer. That wouldn't be smart."

The full audio of Merriman's interview is below.

Shawne Merriman

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

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Bills | Injuries | NFL | Sports
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