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Bills right tackle Erik Pears absent; J.J. Watt looms

By Mark Gaughan


Bills starting right tackle Erik Pears missed practice today to see a medical specialist as the team prepared for Sunday's game in Houston.

Pears was a limited participant on Wednesday due to soreness in the hip area. He missed much of the summer while coming back from surgery on the groin. Second-year man Chris Hairston was working in Pears' place.

Buffalo's right tackle will face the critical matchup of the game: Houston starting left defensive end J.J. Watt, who leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks.

"Erik Pears has been struggling with that hip that he had a procedure on this past offseason," coach Chan Gailey said. "He went to see a specialist today. He'll be back tomorrow and we'll know more."

Pears rotated a bit at right tackle the first two games, but has played 87 percent of the snaps. Hairston has started the past three games in place of left tackle Cordy Glenn. Hairston has played 61 percent of the snaps and stands a good chance to be facing Watt.

Glenn, meanwhile, participated fully, Gailey said, and appears ready to return at left tackle.

Right defensive end Mark Anderson was working on his own on the side during positional drills. Gailey said he's out for Sunday. Cornerback Terrence McGee (knee) was limited.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |