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Bills could have two left tackles Sunday

Posted Nov 3, 2011


The Bills offensive tackle position has been quite thin the past couple of weeks with both Demetrius Bell (shoulder) and Chris Hairston (ankle) sidelined with injuries forcing Andy Levitre out to left tackle last week. Now with Levitre nicked up and limited in practice Hairston might be returning to action just in time.

“Right now we’ve kind of rested Andy a little bit," said head coach Chan Gailey following Thursday's practice. "We’ve had to rest Andy so really Hairston has had more reps than Andy the past two days. We’ve worked Andy at left tackle and left guard and we’ve worked Hairston at left tackle. So we’ll see how it goes Friday and make a decision on Sunday.”

Hairston suffered a high-ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Buffalo's Week 6 game against the Giants and missed last week's game against Washington. Levitre has been playing with a nagging shoulder injury the past week and seems intent on saving himself for Sunday's game.

“I’m going to be ready to go," Levitre insisted. "I’m just trying to keep my shoulder from lighting up during the week. I’m going to save all my pain for Sunday. I’m not going to be in pain all week to not feel great on Sunday. So I’m going to try to feel as good as I can on Sunday so I can go out there and play the way I want to play.”

Hairston meanwhile is encouraged by his progress coming off what is a difficult injury for a lineman.

“Any time you come off an injury and you can go out and have any type of success it’s encouraging, especially coming off a high-ankle sprain," Hairston told Buffalobills.com. "Being able to get back a little after two weeks… there’s still pain to go with it, but that’s part of the game. I’m just trying to get ready. Whenever my name is called I want to be able to help the team.”

Gailey suggested that the two lineman will work together to capably man the left tackle position from start to finish, with Levitre expected to start.

"If Andy needs a break, Hairston would go in," said Gailey. "It might work that way. The unfair part would be to ask Andy to play left guard and left tackle.”

That means that Chad Rinehart is slated to start at left guard on Sunday, so as not to put too much on Levitre's plate.

Levitre however, is confident he'll play the whole game.

“I don’t think I’d need a break in the game," Levitre said. "The only time I’d need a break would be if I was out of shape, and I’m in good shape so I should be fine. The only thing I could see where I’d need a break is if my shoulder lights up on me, then I could see Hairston stepping in for me. He’s a good option to have.”