The Buffalo Bills will be down another three players for their season finale Sunday in New England.
Tight end Mike Caussin (right knee), center Kraig Urbik (right knee) and left tackle Demetrius Bell (knee/ankle) will all miss the last game of the 2011 season. All three suffered serious injuries in Saturday's 40-14 victory over Denver in the home finale.
Coach Chan Gailey, however, was less than clear on whether the injuries would require surgery (Caussin said on his Twitter account he has a torn ACL, so he will).
"Possibly all three. I'm pretty sure," Gailey said, before adding, "I'm not sure."
If Bell and Urbik do require surgery, that's three of the team's starting five offensive linemen from the season opener who face rehabilitation from surgery during the offseason (starting center Eric Wood had surgery in November for a torn ACL).
Bell is an unrestricted free agent, while Urbik is a restricted free agent. The audio link is below to hear the rest of Gailey's interview with the media from today.
---Bills tight end Scott Chandler was limited once again in practice today, but said he hopes to play on Saturday when the Bills host Denver.
“I’m dying to get out there, so hopefully I’ll get out there this week and get some playing time,’’ Chandler said. “It’s feeling better everyday, I think I’ll be out there and be fine.’’
Chandler has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle and if he isn’t available the only options are Mike Caussin and two newly acquired players, Fendi Onobun and Kevin Brock.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson (groin) was limited in practice but should be fine for Saturday’s game, but rookie running back Johnny White (concussion) did not participate in practice and wide receiver Ruvell Martin (hamstring) also sat out. Martin was limited in practice on Wednesday.
Safeties Brian Dawkins (neck) and David Bruton (Achilles) were limited for Denver on Thursday, while linebacker Von Miller (thumb), running back Willis McGahee (hamstring), defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley (knee), and tight end Daniel Fells (thumb) all practiced.
---Rookie cornerback Aaron Williams, who missed the San Diego game with a calf injury, practiced fully today and is expected to start on Sunday when the Bills host the Miami Dolphins.
Tight end Scott Chandler (ankle) missed practice again today and is likely to miss the game, while kicker Dave Rayner (groin) was limited but expects to play on Sunday.
Miami quarterback Matt Moore (concussion-like symptoms) returned to practice on Wednesday, making it less likely former Bill J.P. Losman will be pressed into his first start for the Dolphins. Left tackle Jake Long (back), who also missed Wednesday returned as well but starting linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) remained out.
---Strong safety George Wilson (neck) and kicker Rian Lindell (shoulder) missed practice on Thursday and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
Wilson has missed the last two games while Lindell has been out the last three.
“I’m getting less optimistic by the day,’’ Bills coach Chan Gailey said about Wilson. “We’ll probably hold [Lindell] another week and let it heal for a few more days.’’
Wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder), who missed last week’s game against the New York Jets, practiced fully on Thursday while cornerback Leodis McKelvin (ribs) was limited but Gailey said both should be ready for Sunday’s game.
Wide receiver Donnie Avery (hamstring) was added to the Tennessee injury report and was limited in practice as was tackle David Stewart (calf) while corner Tommie Campbell (shoulder) and linebacker Barrett Ruud (groin) did not participate. Defensive ends Jason Jones (knee) and Derrick Morgan (ankle), center Eugene Amano (hip), tight end Jared Cook (concussion) and linebacker Colin McCarthy (knee) fully participated.
The decision to make offensive tackle Demetrius Bell inactive Sunday against the Jets was strictly related to his health, coach Chan Gailey said today.
"He was really sore after [last] Thursday’s practice when he took a lot of reps and we didn’t want to chance it," Gailey said.
Bell hasn't played since Week Four against Cincinnati.
Gailey also provided the following injury updates today:
- Kicker Rian Lindell, who has missed the past three games, did some work on the side last week. "I think he may get in to practice and kick some this week. The field goals are easier than the kickoffs and then there's always the tackling issue that we're going to have to address. I think that's how the decision will be made," Gailey said.
- Receiver Naaman Roosevelt, held out Sunday because of a shoulder injury, has a good chance to return against Tennessee. "His shoulder's feeling a lot better," Gailey said. Roosevelt is expected to return to practice Wednesday or Thursday.
- Rookie Marcell Dareus will be fine after missing the first eight snaps of Sunday's game because of a sickness.
- On George Wilson: "I don’t think he'll make Wednesday but let us see how he'll do Thursday to Friday to Saturday."
Leodis McKelvin just can't catch a break right now.
Having already fallen down the cornerback depth chart, McKelvin added injury to that insult during Sunday's loss to the New York Jets. McKelvin, who was having a solid game on special teams, got hit in the ribs late in the third quarter on a play in which he recovered a muffed punt by the Jets' Antonio Cromartie.
“He played outstanding on special teams. He really did. He was all over the field. He was a difference maker on special teams yesterday which was great for us," coach Chan Gailey said. "I hope we get him back this week.
"He got hit in the ribs pretty good and it's going to be close, but I think he's going to be fine."
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the team's first-round pick in 2008 miss a day or two of practice this week because of the injury.
So what did Gailey learn about McKelvin before he was hurt Sunday?
"It tells you he's a competitor. He wants to work his way back up and this is one way he can do it," the coach said.
The lost season for nose tackle Torell Troup sounds like it's about to come to a premature end.
Troup missed Sunday's game in New York after the persistent lower back tightness that has plagued him all year flared up Saturday night. It then got worse on game day.
"It really locked up Sunday morning," coach Chan Gailey said. "They did more tests [Monday] and it’s not good. We’re going to have decide where we go with that in the next few days."
Gailey acknowledged injured reserve is a possibility for the second-year pro out of Central Florida. Troup has missed five games -- and been extremely limited in the six he's played this year. He's got just eight tackles, rarely being able to play more than about 10 snaps a game.
"He hasn’t been 100 percent in a long time and we had so much promise for him early in camp and early in the season, it’s been tough on everybody," Gailey said. "Especially losing Kyle [Williams] the way we did, It’s been hard."
Gailey wasn't sure whether surgery would be needed to correct the issue, but the 6-foot-3, 326-pounder will need to explore every avenue to correcting the issue. His usefulness as an NFL nose tackle depends on being able to push the pocket and clog up running lanes. Both of those tasks require a healthy back.
Some late-breaking fantasy news on your Thanksgiving.
Niagara Falls native James Starks is active at running back for the Green Bay Packers today, who look to stay undefeated against the Detroit Lions.
On the Detroit side, Kevin Smith is listed as the starter at running back.
Some other fantasy notes as you get ready for some football:
- Packers WR Greg Jennings is active with a bruised knee. He's a good start.
- In the 4 p.m. game, Cowboys WR Miles Austin is out with a hamstring injury.
- In the late game, 49ers RB Frank Gore is expected to play despite being questionable with a knee injury, while Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is unlikely to play with a toe injury (for those in leagues who start individual defensive players).
Another week, another pair of players placed on injured reserve for the Buffalo Bills.
Cornerback Terrence McGee and wide receiver Donald Jones are the latest two to go down, as both were placed on the season-ending list today. To take their place, the Bills signed a pair of wide receivers to the 53-man roster.
Kamar Aiken was promoted from the practice squad and the Bills signed Derek Hagan, who was most recently with the Oakland Raiders. Hagan played six games for Oakland this season including in Week Two against the Bills -- when he caught six passes for 51 yards. He was released by the Raiders on Nov. 2 when the team signed veteran T.J. Houshmanzadeh.
Hagan, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, was a third-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2006. The 27-year-old has also spent time with the New York Giants.
Aiken, 6-2, 212, had a good training camp as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida. He had seven receptions for 97 yards in the Bills' final three preseason games and has good speed, timing out at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash.