The Buffalo Bills are ready to see what cornerback Terrence McGee can do against a live opponent.
So is he.
The Bills expect McGee to test out his surgically repaired knee Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"We're optimistic that he's going to play this week," Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt told me today after practice at One Bills Drive. "He was practicing about 25 plays a day last week.
"I think in everybody's mind the next step is him playing live this week, and we expect him to do that."
Wannstedt said the Bills haven't determined yet how many plays McGee will get.
McGee hasn't played since November 20 because of a torn patellar tendon. He has been practicing but didn't dress for the first two preseason games.
"I feel good," McGee told me. "I definitely need some kind of reps on the field to get a feel for the game, get under the lights. I'm ready to see what happens.
"I'm not 100 percent, but at the same time I haven't missed a practice. The only kind of worry you have -- since I'm not 100 percent -- is my leg is not as strong as I would like. So you kind of wonder how the game's actually going to go. But at the same time it's something that's needed."
McGee admitted he worried he wouldn't make the team earlier this summer, "but then it became one of those things where, 'Hey, I'm out here working every day, doing everything the trainers tell me to do.' That's all I can do. Whatever happens is meant to happen."
Wannstedt sounded eager to see what McGee can offer.
I asked Wannstedt what kind of contributor McGee could be on his defense with young cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams.
"Hmm, boy. He can be a bonus guy," Wannstedt said of McGee. "He was probably as good a corner as we've had, and if we can get him back playing at that level with two young kids, that could be a real bonus from a group standpoint and a rotation standpoint."
(Photo: David Duprey/Associated Press)