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Lindell closer to return

Posted Nov 29, 2011


Rian Lindell hadn’t done a whole lot of kicking at practice with his teammates since he broke a bone and had some ligament damage in his right shoulder in the first meeting with the Jets. That was until last week when Lindell did some kicking on the side, while his teammates prepared for the Week 12 rematch with New York.

“I was kicking a little bit this past week, and it’s been good,” Lindell told Buffalobills.com. “This way when the arm is ready to go I don’t have to wait for the legs to be ready. They’ll be good.”

Lindell was initially given a 2-6 week prognosis for the injury. Now a little over three weeks removed from the time of the injury, the Bills kicker is closer to returning to the lineup.

“He’s getting better,” said Gailey. “He kicked some on the side last week, I think he may get in to practice and kick some this week. The field goals are easier than the kickoffs.”

Gailey’s biggest concern is putting Lindell out there in a kickoff situation where he might have to make a tackle.

“That’s what you worry about,” he said. “I don’t want to put him in that position if we can help it. I think that’s how the decision will be made.”

It’s unlikely that the Bills would make two kickers active on game day, so in all likelihood if Lindell returns before he’s completely healed there’s a good chance punter Brian Moorman would handle kickoffs.

Lindell had a shoulder injury in his first season with the Bills suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder. It affected his accuracy kicking, particularly when attempts were over 40 yards.

“I tore my labrum when I first got here and I was able to kick with that,” said Lindell. “I had to warm it up pretty good every day to get it right though. The left shoulder is more important if you’re a right-footed kicker because you pull it through as a counter weight on your wind up.”

Buffalo’s most accurate all-time kicker, Lindell never really paid much attention to what his right shoulder did when he kicked until now. After reviewing some film he’s found it doesn’t do much, but the pain requires compensation.

“You’re just kind of missing that extra piece,” he said. “It’s like a golfer with a sprained ankle. You can still hit the ball, but every other part of your motion has to compensate for the ankle. Same thing with my shoulder, everything else has to make up for that shoulder in terms of balance and power.”

Lindell did say his “pop” on the ball isn’t quite as strong and he feels the pain in his shoulder is compromising his motion a bit.

“When I tore my labrum it was a very dull pain,” he said. “This is a much sharper pain.”

Lindell is 13-15 on field goal attempts this season with one of those misses coming on a blocked 39-yard attempt against the Raiders.

His replacement Dave Rayner missed his first attempt with the Bills against the Cowboys when he hooked a 52-yard attempt wide left. He bounced back nicely with a pair of field goals against the Dolphins including a 56-yarder. Against the Jets on Sunday Rayner boomed a 53-yard attempt through and made it look easy.