Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 6-29

Posted by Chris Brown on June 29, 2012 – 11:25 am

Less than a month until training camp! Haven’t seen excitement like this for a Bills season in some time. Just a reminder that our Top 25 Questions until Training Camp series begins on Saturday. We’ll be filing our inside reports on 25 of the most pressing questions facing the team and the coaching staff as the team makes their final preparations for the season at camp. So be sure to check back daily from now until the players report to St. John Fisher. Now to your questions.

1 – Good day Chris,

I would like your opinion on Mario switching sides to the left side.  I read he’s doing it because his contract is incentive laden and he has so much pull he basically got his way.  Jared Allen punishes QB’s from the right side please give me some hope that all this talk is just drivel .

Mike from Nebraska

CB: Just drivel really. Mario prefers to rush from the left side because everything just feels more natural for him over there. I honestly haven’t asked him if he’s left-handed. He was switched back and forth a lot in his time in Houston, and I would anticipate he’ll flip to the right side from time to time with the Bills.

But you put players in the best position to succeed. If he feels he’s at his best at LDE that’s where you put him. Not to mention the fact that he’s supposedly going against a lesser offensive tackle every week from that side knowing most teams put their best offensive tackle on the left side.


2 – Hey Chris

I’m anxious to see who they start at SLB and what the deal is with Leodis McKelvin, I like to think he can contribute this season what do you think?

The roster this year has me excited enough I’m going to make the trip to Buffalo and see a game, I want to buy a jersey but Doug Flutie is still my favourite player.  

Would you have any idea where I could find a good one besides Ebay? I appreciate what you do, enjoy. 

Alexander Albanese
CB: Going into camp the favorite to play SLB in the team’s base defense is Kirk Morrison. Running behind him on the depth there is Arthur Moats.

As for Leodis McKelvin, he’s always had elite level talent it’s just the consistency of his game that is the issue. If he can put together a strong camp he could lock down one of the outside cornerback jobs and possibly the nickel corner as well. There’s no question he’ll be motivated entering a contract year.

To get a jersey you can go to the Bills Store online.


3 – Chris, 

Thanks for your daily coverage on OTAs and minicamp. I was wondering about T.J Graham. With his size do the bills see him as a slot guy or and outside receiver. I know he can fly but is he too small? Also who will start as the #2 receiver in training camp?


CB: I think your concern about Graham is legitimate. In the spring workouts it’s difficult to ascertain how a receiver is going to fare when things get physical because they’re not wearing pads. That’s why we’ll know a lot more about how physical Graham can be and how well he can bang with physical cornerbacks, and the Bills have a few of them.

The Bills believe Graham is an outside receiver, and that’s where they can make best use of his deep speed. But I do wonder how he’ll do once the pads are on and corners are jamming him at the line. It will certainly bear watching.

At the outset of training camp I expect Donald Jones to be the number two receiver, but that is going to be a heated competition, which we’ll cover extensively in our Top 25 questions until camp series on


4 – Chris,

First of all, thank you a hundred times over for your coverage of the Bills. You have a knack for covering the angles that make us fans feel like insiders, even all the way down here in CT.

Justifiably, much of the off-season talk has been positive, celebrating the upgrades at key positions and additions to create positional depth through free agency and the draft. While I agree that this team is markedly deeper and more talented than the 2011 version, I think the D is still dangerously thin at some key spots. The front 4 is stacked and can endure an injury or two, but it is the back 7 that has me worried. What happens if Nick Barnett, as he has in the past, goes down for an extended period? None of the young reserves (Moats, Batten, White) have shown enough to instill confidence that they can step in and compete at a high enough level. If Terrence McGee is unable to regain form, which is a distinct possibility, are Williams, Gilmore, Rogers, McKelvin, and Brooks really ready to shut down the leagues top offenses without a veteran leader?

My question to you is this:

As someone who is with the team every day and has seen the OTAs up close, what are your biggest positional concerns? Where do you think the Bills are the thinnest; meaning we will not be able to remain competitive if a starter goes down? 

Bonus question: My CT crew will be at Hammer’s Lot before the Patriots game on Sept. 30th in full force, as we are every year. What are the chances you make an appearance? 

-Dan S. K.
Torrington, CT

CB: First, thanks for the kind words. Positions of concern for me in terms of depth is like you linebacker. I like the starting linebackers a lot and I believe if Shep were to go down they would shift one of the two veteran outside backers inside. However, the loss of Barnett would be tough. Moats really played well in the spring and I think will be the first LB off the bench behind the vets outside.

I think the DBs will be fine. You’ve got young confident players in that group (Gilmore, Williams, Rogers) and I believe they’ll capably fill roles. In fact it would not shock me if Gilmore and Williams are your starters and Rogers is pushing for the nickel role.

Concerning your tailgate for the Pats game, I unfortunately have pre-game radio responsibilities. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get away, but you’re more than welcome to come say ‘hey’ at our pre-game broadcast location in the Bills Fieldhouse.


5 – Hey Chris,

With major upgrades and restored health to our front seven, I see an amazing year for our DB’s in picking off opposing quarterbacks. Is there any talk or expectations you’re hearing from the coaching staff or team regarding an increase in forced turnovers? Thanks!!

Superdoops in NJ.

CB: I’ll let Jairus Byrd answer this question since I asked him just what you asked me.

“It’s hard not to get giddy,” said Byrd. “We’ve talked to the guys on the back end and we are excited about it, but we’re waiting. We do have to feel each other out. The first preseason at the end of camp will be a good indicator about just the time and how we can play things because we’re not used to it. We’ve got to feel each other out to see what that pressure feels like. We’re excited though.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones slotted most of the time

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2012 – 9:57 am

Donald Jones has been moved around quite a bit between three different wide receiver roles, but in OTAs he spent most of his time in the slot. It’s an interesting place for the guy with the inside track on the #2 WR job to be, but he likes it a lot.

“I love the slot,” said Jones. “You have a lot more flexibility in the slot. You don’t have guys beating up on you every play, so I definitely like being in there.”

The common advantage for slot receivers is they’re not restricted by the sideline like outside receivers. They have what’s called a two-way go meaning the receiver can break inside or outside.

“It definitely helps out a lot,” said Jones. “You have a lot more room in the slot. You have a two-way go. You’re working a lot more on nickels, but also linebackers and safeties, so we definitely have the edge. When you’re outside the corners have the sideline as their help and then they have the inside help so you have less flexibility.”

As a rookie Jones was lined up almost exclusively in the slot with Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson outside and was effective as a complementary receiver and a blocker for the run game. It appears as though Buffalo’s offensive staff wants to get back to some of that when they make use of one of their most popular formations which is the 4-wide, 1-back set.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Teammates respect Mario’s ability

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2012 – 7:45 am

Early in OTAs Shawne Merriman was so impressed with Mario Williams physical stature he called him “a creature.” Donald Jones had a similar experience in OTAs earlier this week.

On a specific play in OTAs Jones had to execute a block on a run play on Williams. Though OTA practices are far from live football just seeing Williams running in his direction made him realize how difficult the task would be on a Sunday.

“Those kinds of assignments, those are cool for me,” said Jones. “So I don’t have a problem with that as long as I don’t have to block Mario. I had to block him yesterday in practice and it didn’t go too well for me. He saw me coming and I felt like he looked through me, but it’s cool. I’ll get it done in the game.”

Suffice to say Jones is glad Williams is on Buffalo’s roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills players test batting skills

Posted by Hannah Buehler on May 30, 2012 – 11:00 am

Bills players Ryan Fitzpatrick, Scott Chandler, Kyle Williams and Donald Jones will all be at Rogers Centre in Toronto this afternoon testing their batting skills at batting practice, prior to the Blue Jays vs. Orioles  game.

Kyle Williams hit a homerun last time he attended batting practice in Toronto, and said on WGR 550 this morning that any homeruns after one is “extra.”

“I’m the current title holder, so I’m going to hold that belt until somebody knocks me off,” said Williams.

Who do you think will win?  Vote on twitter here.

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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bills players help in VY workout

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2012 – 10:27 am

During Wednesday morning’s Vince Young workout at One Bills Drive a handful of players on Buffalo’s roster ran routes for the free agent quarterback.

Wide receivers David Nelson, Donald Jones, Naaman Roosevelt and Marcus Easley all participated and caught passes from Young.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Jones return means for C.J.

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2011 – 4:27 pm

With Donald Jones expected to play on Sunday against the Jets after missing the last two games with a high-ankle sprain, C.J. Spiller’s wide receiver role figures to be impacted. Head coach Chan Gailey explains how things might work.

“If Donald can play and play extensively it allows us not to have to put C.J. out at wideout extensively,” Gailey told “We may still do it a little bit. But it’s not something we would do a lot if Donald can come back and play.”

Spiller has helped to fill the receiver void offering a deep threat outside with his game-breaking speed. He drew a 34-yard pass interference penalty last week that led to a Bills field goal.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitz and Jones probable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2011 – 12:00 pm

There really wasn’t any doubt that Ryan Fitzpatrick would play on Sunday despite being slightly limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s listed as probable. It also looks like he’ll have one of his top receivers back in the lineup in Donald Jones.

Jones practiced fully for a second straight day and was also listed as probable by head coach Chan Gailey. The second-year wideout said his ankle felt better than expected the very first day back on the practice field, and seeing his level of participation go from limited on Wednesday to full practice on Thursday and Friday is a strong indication that he’ll get the start on Sunday against the Jets.

Johnny White, who missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness, is also listed as probable.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Jones goes full

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2011 – 3:14 pm

Bills WR Donald Jones was full go at practice Thursday a day after being limited in practice. Head coach Chan Gailey was encouraged by the receiver’s progress.

“He’s looked a lot better,” said Gailey. “He’s done everything in practice. I can tell he’s not 100 percent so we’ll see, he may get to play on Sunday.”

Jones has been anxious to return after missing the last two games with a high-ankle sprain, and his return would be welcomed by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“It would be big for us,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s obviously a really good player. He’s had some good games for us this year. To be able to have him back out there running around would be good to see.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones to practice again

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2011 – 10:44 am

A big factor is assessing Donald Jones’ chances of playing this week was how his ankle would respond the day after practicing on it Wednesday. Thursday is bringing good news.

Jones confirmed he’s practicing again here on Thursday. We’ll have an update on the extent of his practice participation later this afternoon.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones and A. Williams back

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2011 – 1:17 pm

Donald Jones and Aaron Williams are both practicing here on Wednesday, but neither are close to 100 percent.

Jones is moving around at a reduced speed and not participating fully. Aaron Williams is being careful about any contact with teammates.

It’s possible he’s not yet cleared for contact coming off his chest/shoulder injury.

We’ll have an official participation report on them this afternoon.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones ahead of schedule

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2011 – 12:36 pm

Bills WR Donald Jones was given a 4-6 week timetable for his high ankle sprain suffered against the Eagles in Week 5. Jones says he’s ahead of the back end of that timetable, but cannot say yet when he’ll be back.

“No set target yet,” said Jones. “It’s moving a lot faster than I expected, but they don’t want to rush it and get me back too fast.”

When asked if he at least knows if his return will come before the six week mark from the time he sustained the injury Jones said he likely would.

“Definitely hopeful it won’t be six weeks,” he said. “We don’t think it will be six weeks at all. So we’ll see how I feel in the next two weeks.”

Jones has been doing a lot of work in the pool to keep his full body weight off his injured ankle, and did squats in the weight room Wednesday. He plans to do some straight line running next week.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones out indefinitely

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2011 – 2:45 pm

The news was not good concerning Bills WR Donald Jones, who suffered an ankle injury Sunday.

Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update Monday confirming that Jones sustained a high ankle sprain.

“It’s the same as I thought afterwards, it’s going to be a while,” said Gailey. “It’s not season-ending, but it’ll be a while. Four to six (weeks), somewhere in there.”

More on this story and where the Bills go from here at the receiver position on the home page of shortly.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones to be out “a while”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2011 – 3:53 pm

Bills WR Donald Jones, who sustained an ankle injury in the first half is going to miss some time.

Head coach Chan Gailey said Jones will be out “a while”, but that it was not season ending.

Jones left on crutches Sunday.

Buffalo has a receiver on the practice squad in undrafted rookie Kamar Aiken as an option if they deem it necessary to add a wideout to the active roster.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-23

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2011 – 11:47 am

2-0 vs. 2-0 on Sunday. Big AFC East matchup with the Patriots. Many are expecting a shootout. We’ll see what happens Sunday. Now to your questions from

1 – Hi Chris, 

I’ve been watching since the preseason on’s preseason live and one thing I’ve noticed about the Bills secondary is a lack of making plays on the ball. It seems they’re content to just be close to the receiver and rarely turn their head and get their hands up. Do you think it’s just rust from not being tested much when they couldn’t stop the run or do they have some deficiencies in the secondary? Of course when they did turn their heads and make plays the refs called interference every time vs the Jags. With the way these refs are acting it’s going to be a two hand touch league pretty soon.


CB: In talking to some of the guys in the secondary they feel their positioning is sound defensively when defending the pass. They just have to commit to make more plays on the ball, so I think your observations on the whole are accurate. I don’t think it has anything to do with not being tested much with teams running on them so much last season. It’s a good group back there and I think with a little more help from the pass rush forcing errant throws they should get that turnover figure to increase more like what it was in 2009 when they were second in the AFC in takeaways.


2 – Hi Chris,
If Shawne Merriman goes down with an injury that causes him to lose significant time, are the Bills going to use Alex Carrington to fill the spot? Also, what happens if Stevie Johnson goes down with an injury? Who would be the go to guy then? Donald Jones? These are serious contingencies that would impact the Bills season. What are your thoughts? 

Tony, Daytona Beach, Fl
CB: This is a timely question in light of Stevie Johnson’s nagging groin injury. If he’s forced to sit out a week or two to rest his groin ailment, I’d anticipate Jones stepping into the number one role with a collection of wideouts filling the number two spot on the other side. That would include Ruvell Martin, Naaman Roosevelt and possibly practice squad player Kamar Aiken (6’2” 213).

With respect to Merriman, I think Carrington and Spencer Johnson could be part of that replacement equation, particularly on run downs, with Danny Batten stepping in on passing downs.


3 – Chris,

I love that Buddy/Chan have made the Bills a much more physical team than Jauron.  Can you compare the opening day rosters for Jauron’s last team vs this year and give average size per position.  I have been very tired of watching the Bills get physically beat especially on defense.


CB: While I can’t give you average size for the 2009 squad, I can tell you that Buffalo’s current roster this year has 16 players that are 300 pounds or more. That’s the highest number of 300 pounders on a roster in the league this season. Their average team weight is 252 pounds and change, which is also a league high.


4 – Hey Chris,

I was wondering if it is possible to purchase a bills jersey with the 9/11 patch or the actual patch itself through or
Thanks, Dave G

CB: I’ve been told that teams at different times will be making their jerseys with those patches available at the site Unfortunately there is no set schedule on what teams will make their jerseys available. All proceeds go to various charities for those jerseys. I guess you’ll need to check back at that site frequently to keep tabs on what’s available and when. Sorry that’s the best I can do.


5 – Chris,
A friend showed me this video on YouTube of Marcell Dareus lifting a car and we’re in disagreement on if it’s real or fake. Can you track down Marcell and ask him. Here’s the video I’m referring to

Mitch (Webster, NY)

CB: Marcell is mum on the situation. All he would provide is a smirk. I know one thing, I wouldn’t park your vehicle anywhere close to his truck. He’s not a big fan of inching his way back and forth to get out of parking spots!

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-16

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2011 – 12:37 pm

Alright, Week 1 was a good one. Hopefully another ‘W’ Sunday for the home opener. Let’s get to your questions from

1 – Chris,
Buddy and Chan often use the phrase “get bigger” can you explain what they mean football wise. They have let smaller sized players go. All their TE and OL seem to be tall strong blocking types. Aaron Williams is a big corner. Does they view this on ever position? How does big translate onto the field. Have big guys doesn’t mean they are great athletes or even good football players. I understand the 3-4 needs players with more bulk. Can you explain the football philosophy on both offense and defense?

CB: There really isn’t a whole lot of football philosophy here. It’s more physics if you want to know the truth. Mass times acceleration equals power (my physics teacher would be proud). Buffalo’s offensive and defensive lines lacked mass and thus power. Both Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey saw their men in the trenches getting pushed around way too much last season and felt they had to get bigger. They are now. Eric Wood is 20 pounds heavier than the departed Geoff Hangartner. Scott Chandler is 272 pounds.

Marcell Dareus is 35 pounds heavier than Marcus Stroud. Alex Carrington added 23 pounds of muscle to his frame and Torell Troup added 10 pounds of muscle. Kellen Heard goes 340. The linebacking corps is bigger as well. It’s all about holding up against the run on that side of the ball and you need guys that are big enough and talented enough to stand their ground. That’s really all it is.


2 – Hi Chris, just wanted to know if you know what Donald Jones’ time was in the 40-yard dash? Lee Evans was a burner, and if the Bills are hoping to replace Evans, they better hope that one of those young receivers can at least be a speedy as Evans was. If the Bills lack a vertical threat, the opposing defenses will not respect our passing game as much. I will look forward to hearing your answer. Tony, Daytona Beach, FL

CB: Coming out of college, Jones was clocked at 4.49 in the 40. That’s above average speed and a player like that is capable of making plays downfield. Eric Moulds ran a 4.51 coming out of Mississippi State, and you remember the downfield plays he made in his career with Buffalo. Evans ran a 4.41.


3 – Hey Chris,
What’s the deal with Ruvell Martin making the team who had maybe a week of exposure to the offense and Naaman Rosevelt who has had several years of exposure? I think Bills fans would like to know more about the particulars in choosing Ruvell Martin over Naaman Rosevelt.
Stephen A. Naetzker from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

CB: Truth be told, it was a bit of surprise to those of us that follow the team. Not because Ruvell isn’t capable, but because he had only been with the club a week. But head coach Chan Gailey said he was consistent in the time he was here, and sharp as a tack picking up the system. He’s also 6’4” and 212 pounds. So he does offer a bit more size than Naaman (6’0” 201).

Ultimately, I think what helped him most was his performance as a gunner on the punt coverage team. Yes, Naaman offers special teams ability as well, but mostly as a kick returner and Buffalo has kick returners in Brad Smith and C.J. Spiller. So Martin offers more on coverage teams, which is where they needed more help. I don’t know that it was the deciding factor, but it definitely played a role in the decision.

In any event Roosevelt is on the practice squad and I’d expect him to be a call up should there be a long term injury at receiver.


4 – Chris, How do some of the players with limited stats or star power like Robert Eddins, Donald Jones, Arthur Moats, Justin Rogers, David Nelson, Kamar Aiken, and Danny Batten hit the scouts radar screen. Only Nelson played at a big school. Since these guys don’t have high ceilings, combine stars but seem to be very motivated football players. Can you shed some light on how these guys separate themselves from “camp bodies” and how they are found.


Go Bills

CB: There are advance scouting services that NFL clubs participate in collectively like BLESTO. The scouts working for BLESTO (who also sometimes work for NFL clubs simultaneously), put together the initial work on the junior prospects the year before they enter their final collegiate season. The size of the school matters little. They scour the country and the big fish in the small ponds are found just as readily as the top talents at big programs. Once they’re on the radar it’s up to the individual NFL clubs to follow up and make their own assessments as to whether the prospect is worthy of draft consideration or consideration as an undrafted free agent signing.


5 – QB David Garrard has been released by the Jags. Is he a better option than Thigpen? Thanks, David W.

CB: I don’t see David Garrard interested in being a backup quarterback for an entire season. I think he’s looking to land somewhere, where the possibility of starting sooner rather than later is real, and Fitz is the entrenched starter in Buffalo.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones confirms he’s #2 WR

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2011 – 10:54 am

Bills WR Donald Jones has confirmed he’s the team’s number two receiver.

He’ll line up opposite Stevie Johnson outside, and he’s been cleared to practice fully.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Easley expecting to play a lot

Posted by Chris Brown on September 1, 2011 – 11:01 am

Knowing the starters are going to be playing very little, WR Marcus Easley is expecting to play a whole lot. What’s ironic is that Easley might be lining up with the starters again tonight with Donald Jones not expected to play.

“I’m pretty sure the starters are not going to play too long,” he said. “I’ll probably get extensive amount of time from missing so much time last year and not having OTA’s, so I’m sure I’m going to play a lot. I kind of want to keep the ball rolling and build upon everything that happened last week.”

Easley is coming off a five-catch 51-yard performance that included his first NFL touchdown in last Saturday’s overtime win over Jacksonville. While he was pleased with the plays that he was able to make, Easley is hoping he can do even more in tonight’s game against the Lions.


It was definitely a confidence booster, but at the same I didn’t play a perfect game “left a few balls out there and a few plays that I could have made.  Like I said before, I want to learn from the mistakes and correct the assignments that I did miss.  Hopefully repeat the performance and play even better.”

If he does turn in another big performance he will put himself squarely in the mix for the number two receiver job opposite Stevie Johnson on the outside with Donald Jones and others. Head coach Chan Gailey said a decision on that role will be made by the coaching staff after tonight’s game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones, Parrish unlikely to play

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2011 – 4:55 pm

Bills WRs Donald Jones (concussion) and Roscoe Parrish (hamstring) are not looking good to suit up for Thursday night’s preseason finale.

“We probably will not play Roscoe or Donald Jones in this game,” said head coach Chan Gailey.

Knowing the starters are only going to get 6-10 snaps in the game, the staff obviously feels it’s not worth the risk to dress the two receivers. Felton Huggins will also miss the game after sustaining a concussion in practice Monday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins suffers concussion

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2011 – 4:45 pm

Bills WR Felton Huggins was not on the practice field Tuesday after suffering a concussion in practice Monday.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey.

“He sustained a concussion on the practice field yesterday, so he’s out for a while,” said Gailey after Tuesday’s practice.

Huggins is the second Bills receiver to sustain a concussion in the past two weeks, joining Donald Jones, who suffered a concussion in the Denver preseason game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Returning players limited

Posted by Chris Brown on August 29, 2011 – 6:41 pm

Johnny White, Donald Jones, Roscoe Parrish and Shawn Nelson were all back practicing after long layoffs, but head coach Chan Gailey said they weren’t full go.

“They were limited,” said Gailey. “We’re just breaking them back in slowly. They got to practice today, but we’re going to be very careful with those guys.”

Jones said he was full go in practice Monday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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