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Practice Notes - Day 13

Posted Aug 16, 2011

The first notable lineup change took place at practice Tuesday as Chad Rinehart moved up from the second unit to the starting offensive line replacing two-year starter Andy Levitre. Head coach Chan Gailey was straightforward in his assessment of the situation.

“Chad has played pretty well during camp, and he’s earned the right to compete for the job on a little bit more equal basis,” Gailey said. “We’ll give him a shot and see how it plays out. Now is the time to give a guy a chance if he’s earned it.”

For Rinehart it’s an opportunity he was hoping he’d get at the outset of camp after appearing in four games last season for the Bills including three starts at right guard.

“I came in expecting to compete for a starting spot or at least get into the rotation,” said Rinehart. “That was just done a little different this year just having the same guys with the ones and the same guys with the twos. So I just need to take advantage of the opportunity of getting reps with the starters.”

Levitre meanwhile lined up at left guard with the second unit at practice Tuesday. This doesn’t appear to be a permanent move by the offensive staff as Gailey hinted that Levitre and Rinehart could be splitting time at the position with the starters.

“Chad is the one guy right now that’s fought his way to deserve a shot to at least split some time there,” he said.

Even Rinehart doesn’t make things sound like they’re permanent as he assessed his move up the depth chart.

“I feel like the last game was a little disappointing and I think Andy (Levitre) felt the same way so they’re just doing this to increase the competition at the guard spot,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll elevate both of our play going into the (next) game.”

Injury update
Some updates were provided by coach Gailey on the status of some of his injured players Tuesday. Sixth-round pick Chris White was injured in the preseason opener and hasn’t been seen on the field since. Gailey ruled him out of the Denver preseason game this weekend and possibly another.

“He’s a couple of weeks, three weeks away,” said Gailey of White’s ankle injury. “He got rolled up on pretty good so he’s going to be a while.”

WR Craig Davis has also been laid up since Monday’s practice. Gailey said Davis will miss a week leaving him unlikely for Saturday’s preseason game in Denver as well.

Shawne Merriman was pulled out of practice early during one-on-one pass rush drills and did not participate in any 11-on-11 team work. The veteran linebacker said it was minor.

"It's a little tight," he said. "I didn't play much Saturday, but coming out here I got a good workout early and I'll see how I feel (Wednesday) and just go from there.”

“It’s minor,” said Gailey of Merriman’s situation. “If we err, we’ll err on the side of caution with that to make sure he’s back full speed. We don’t want him to put any undue pressure on areas there.”

Non-participants at practice were Roscoe Parrish, Justin Rogers, Kelvin Sheppard, Shawn Nelson, Zack Pianalto, Kamar Aiken, Chris Hairston and rookie kicker Chris Hazley.

Highlights
There weren’t too many highlights as the offense looked out of sync for long stretches of the practice, but Donald Jones had the play of the day as he got behind his defender for a 35-yard touchdown on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Scott Chandler was very busy underneath with eight catches in the practice as he worked the middle of the field.

C.J. Spiller had a well-timed play with Ryan Fitzpatrick as Spiller was split wide with Fitz hitting him in stride on a slant pattern.

Felton Huggins made a quality play deep over the middle on a throw from Tyler Thigpen.

Defensively, Reggie Corner broke up a pass over the middle that was intended for David Nelson.

Kyle Williams registered a sack as he tagged out Ryan Fitzpatrick before he could scramble away from pressure and get rid of the ball.

Drayton Florence had an interception off Fitzpatrick as the Bills starting quarterback threw it downfield under pressure.

Rookie OLB Robert Eddins had a sack on a tag out on Levi Brown during 11-on-11.

Rookie DL T.J. Langley got in for a quarterback pressure to force an incompletion.

Chris Kelsay also forced an incomplete pass on a quarterback pressure on the final series.

And Bryan Scott knocked away a pass intended for David Martin on a throw by Thigpen.

Next practice
The Bills have a night practice Wednesday set for 7:15 pm.