Shep, Merriman out for tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on August 27, 2011 – 4:05 pm

The Bills coaching staff has decided to err on the side of caution with Kelvin Sheppard and Shawne Merriman. has learned that both Sheppard and Merriman will not dress for tonight’s game. Head coach Chan Gailey has said that with the shortened offseason taking every precaution would be the approach. Merriman has been plagued by a tight groin, while Sheppard is still not fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

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Shep being smart w/hamstring

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2011 – 8:44 am

Kelvin Sheppard returned to the practice field earlier this week off a nagging hamstring injury that cost him almost all of training camp. Though he desperately wants to play Saturday against Jacksonville, he’s fighting that urge and trying to be smart in the final stages of healing.

“You’ve just got to be careful because you don’t want to rush into it and then look back and say you should’ve waited,” Sheppard told “I’ve been wanting to get back out there ASAP, but it wouldn’t have been the smartest thing to do. It’s a collective effort between myself, the training staff and the coaches to get together and do what’s right, not only for myself but for the team too. Whatever they want is what I’ll do.”

Sheppard said in practice the athletic training staff was keeping a watchful eye on him to keep him from going all out this week.

“They just tell me to make sure I go at a pace that’s moderate and not go out there and open it up and do something crazy,” he said. “We’re approaching the third preseason game and we’re going to blink our eyes and be headed down to Kansas City. I don’t want to have any regrets about anything.”

So while Sheppard remains a question mark for Saturday night’s game, he does feel his hamstring is very close to being sound for anything and everything.

“It’s definitely improving and that’s helping me a lot physically and in my mind knowing it’s getting better and that we’re almost there,” he said. “We just have to take that final step.”

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Merriman, Shep back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2011 – 2:46 pm

The Bills linebacking corps got a couple of welcome returns to the lineup Monday.

Shawne Merriman and Kelvin Sheppard both re-joined their teammates in the practice setting.

Merriman missed most of late week while Sheppard has missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring pull.

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The inactive players

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2011 – 1:49 pm

Here’s the rundown of the players that will not suit up for tonight’s preseason game against the Broncos.

WR Roscoe Parrish
CB Justin Rogers
LB Kelvin Sheppard
LB Shawne Merriman
OL Chris Hairston
WR Craig Davis
TE Shawn Nelson
LB Chris White

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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Jefferson to get long look

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2011 – 1:47 pm

His opportunity has surfaced due to injury, but you can bet that undrafted rookie ILB Brad Jefferson is more concerned about the opportunity he’ll have tonight than why it came up in the first place.

With third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard and sixth-round pick Chris White both out for tonight’s preseason game against the Broncos, there is a hole at the ‘mike’ LB position with the second defensive unit. Sheppard played there briefly before a hamstring injury cost him most of camp. White was manning the position in the absence of Sheppard and was faring well until an ankle injury against the Bears cost him this past week of practice and will keep him out of tonight’s game.

So Jefferson, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia Tech, will move up from the third unit to play alongside Arthur Moats at ILB with the second string defense. By the time the game is over Jefferson could log up to 40 plays, which gives him a huge chance to put his best on game tape.

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Sheppard update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2011 – 10:22 pm

Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard came back and practiced for a day or two last week coming off his hamstring injury, but then the team left him at home for the preseason opener because they did not want to risk re-injury. Sheppard was still a spectator Monday night at practice.

“He’s just recovering,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He couldn’t quite go full speed and we want to make sure he gets closer to full speed and let him cut loose.”

The hope is to have Sheppard ready for preseason game number 2 on Saturday in Denver.

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Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2011 – 6:38 pm

Here are the players out injured this evening.

WR Roscoe Parrish
TE Shawn Nelson
TE Zach Pianalto
LB Kelvin Sheppard

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Shep not with team

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2011 – 1:40 pm

Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard, who returned from a left hamstring injury late this week to practice a couple of times, will not be playing tonight in Buffalo’s preseason opener at Chicago. He did not make the trip with the team.

The move is a precautionary one by the Bills coaching staff in conjunction with the medical staff. Fellow draft classmate, Chris White will line up at ILB with the second unit on defense alongside Arthur Moats.

Sheppard seemed to anticipate that not playing in the preseason opener was a possibility earlier this week.

“You know it is what it is,” Sheppard told “I hate missing anything. It’s been eating me up on the inside to miss practice. So if I don’t (play against Chicago) I’m not going to let it eat me up too much. I’m just going to make sure I’m ready to go to Denver the next week.”

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Shep back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2011 – 6:37 pm

For the first time since his first practice of camp LB Kelvin Sheppard is back practicing. And he’s joined by a host of other Bills backed from injury.

Drayton Florence (ankle), Roscoe Parrish, Chris Kelsay and Donald Jones (calf) have all returned to the fold here at night practice.

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Jones, Sheppard updates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 9:20 pm

WR Donald Jones missed practice Saturday night and LB Kelvin Sheppard is still sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Here’s an update on their conditions.

Head coach Chan Gailey said Jones just got kicked during Friday’s practice and his right calf was sore. He expects Jones to be back in a day or two at the most.

Meanwhile LB Kelvin Sheppard’s prognosis is unchanged. He was to be re-evaluated at the end of the week and Gailey said Shep is still in the 7-10 day range before returning from the injury, which would put him somewhere around Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

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WR Jones out

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 6:20 pm

WR Donald Jones is the latest non-participant on the practice field.

Jones ailment is unknown, but he does have a wrap on his right calf. Here are the other non-participants for tonight’s practice.

Shawne Merriman
Shawn Nelson
Kelvin Sheppard
Justin Rogers
Marcus Easley

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Non-participants at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2011 – 6:54 pm

Here are the non-participants at practice Thursday night.

David Martin, Shawn Nelson and Kelvin Sheppard.

Marcus Easley has a helmet on, but no shoulder pads and just shorts. He hasn’t participated, but he’s watching with the rest of his teammates. Perhaps he will do work on the side. We’ll keep you posted.

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Moats making the calls

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2011 – 7:36 pm

Bills LB Arthur Moats is manning an inside linebacker position in this camp, which is nothing new. He did the same thing last year as a rookie before going outside for most of the season. Now his move inside could be more permanent.

With Kelvin Sheppard out of the lineup (pulled muscle) fellow rookie Chris White has been manning the ‘mike’ linebacker position next to Moats in the second team defense on the inside. With White so new to the system, Moats is the one making the calls in the huddle.

“I’m in there with the young guy (White) when I’m with the twos I make most of the calls because I’m familiar with the system,” said Moats. “Technically the ‘mike’ is supposed to be making the calls, but as long as we get the job done that’s all that matters.”

Both White and Sheppard are known as quick studies and should pick things up rather quickly, but the coaches have been brisk with installation and the rookies might find the pace and the volume of material a bit daunting.

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Shep, Easley out a week

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2011 – 5:10 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey updated the status of injured players Kelvin Sheppard and Marcus Easley and they’re going to be spectators for a little while.

“Sheppard is going to be out for a little while,” said Gailey. “I think at least a week and then we’ll re-evaluate at the end of the week.”

When asked about Easley Gailey said, “About the same thing. About a week.”

Sheppard pulled his left hamstring Sunday night while Easley hyperextended his left knee in Saturday’s practice.

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Easley, Sheppard watching

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2011 – 2:40 pm

Non-participants at the afternoon practice here on Monday are WR Marcus Easley and LB Kelvin Sheppard.

Sheppard has a hamstring pull. Easley has a hyperextended knee.

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Shep suffers muscle pull

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2011 – 8:43 pm

It was about a third of the way through practice and Kelvin Sheppard was covering a running back in 1-on-1s when he reached for his left hamstring. He did not return to practice after that. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update after the Sunday night practice.

“Shep pulled (a muscle) about the first third of practice and seems to be the worst of the three,” said Gailey. “They say he pulled a muscle in his leg.”

When Gailey said worst of the three, he meant all three of his top three draft choices. Marcell Dareus exited practice late with a muscle cramp and was held out as a precaution. Second-round pick Aaron Williams got kicked in the back of the head after receiver Paul Hubbard went head over heels on a pass play in which Williams was covering him. Dareus and Williams are both expected to be fine.

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Shep pulls up

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2011 – 7:01 pm

Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard pulled up at the end of a 1-on-1 passing drill where LBs go against RBs.

He has stepped out of practice and was examined by athletic trainers. He’s staying at practice, but has not taken a rep since that play.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Barnett ready to tutor rooks

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2011 – 6:10 pm

Nick Barnett is entering his ninth year in the league and much like 10-year vet Andra Davis he’s open to showing the rookies the ropes, especially now that he’s officially signed. That’s huge knowing Buffalo has second-year man Arthur Moats learning the ILB position along with a pair of draft choices in Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White.

“Anything you can provide young guys growing up in this game is experience and giving them wisdom,” Barnett told “Youth is no excuse, that’s what we’d say over in Green Bay we were a young team there. I think it’s better sometimes to have that young team their eyes are wide open and they’re ready to play, ready to go, so I look forward to getting those guys out there and start hitting people.”

Sounds like the young players will be well schooled. It also sounds like there’s going to be some attitude on the defensive side of the ball this season.

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Shep all for adding Barnett

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2011 – 12:51 pm

Bills third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard got his feet wet participating in the morning walk-through after signing his contract late Saturday. He also got a hello from a free agent visitor during the morning session and wouldn’t mind seeing Nick Barnett added to Buffalo’s roster.

“Watching the way he produced with the Packers and for him to actually come up to me and say ‘what’s up Sheppard’ and things like that, that’s exciting,” said Sheppard. “If he is an addition to our team, I think it will be great. How could you not want a guy like that on your team?”

There are reports that Barnett has canceled his scheduled visit to Detroit today (Sunday), which is understandable knowing the Lions signed free agent LB Stephen Tulloch this morning.

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Moats, Batten update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2011 – 11:15 am

In the morning walk through, Arthur Moats, as Chan Gailey indicated was lining up at inside linebacker with the second unit. Alongside him was a rookie.

Sixth-round pick Chris White lined up next to Moats on the inside. They were flanked by Aaron Maybin and Antonio Coleman. Coleman rotated with Danny Batten who is back at his more natural outside linebacker spot. Late last season Batten was studying up to be an inside linebacker, but after Kelvin Sheppard and White were drafted Batten was moved back outside.

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Posted in Inside the Bills