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Practice Notes - Day 14

Posted Aug 11, 2009

There was no T.O. at practice for the Bills on Tuesday night as a sprained toe kept him from participating.

“He’s got a sprained toe and he’s day to day,” said head coach Dick Jauron. “It happened in the game. He’s not certain when he did it.”

Owens was not present at practice, but he did sign autographs for fans prior to practice before going into the training room for treatment. Jauron was asked if Owens would require surgery on the toe.

“He’s got a sprained toe, he’s day-to-day and we haven’t even discussed that,” Jauron said.

Either way practice did look a little different without the dynamic wideout.

“I was surprised,” said Trent Edwards. “I didn’t know he was in that situation, but it gives us a chance for other guys to step up and make some plays. I liked having Steve Johnson back out there. I know Josh and Roscoe were happy for the opportunities to get back out here and take some reps with me.

"I think any chance guys have to step up and play and make some plays for us I think they need to do that. That’s going to happen during the season and that’s what was happening in practice.”

“We know what kind of player he is and what kind of player he’s been through his entire career,” said Jauron. “So when he’s not on the field you’re aware that he’s not on the field. So yeah it’s different.”

The Bills head coach said it is too early to determine whether Owens will be able to play in Saturday’s preseason game against Chicago.

Butler back; Johnson re-injured
The good news on the offensive side of the ball was starting right tackle Brad Butler re-entered the fray up front. Butler practiced fully and did not appear to have any limitations from the lower back injury he suffered over a week ago.

“I did see some of him in individual and it looked like he was moving fine,” said Jauron. “He didn’t seem to have any adverse effects at all. Hopefully that’ll hold up tonight and into tomorrow.”

The bad news unfortunately came at Steve Johnson’s expense. Just recently returning to full participation in practice, Johnson went up for a pass in the red zone and was challenged by Cary Harris. The pass went incomplete and both players fell hard to the turf with Harris partially landing on Johnson.

The fall and impact re-aggravated Johnson’s rib cartilage injury and has the young wideout frustrated.

“It’s the same old thing that it’s been since the first time, rib cartilage,” he said. “It’s just frustrating man when you’re trying to play football and you can’t get no contact. I only know one speed basically. When I’m going in to block I want to go in physical. I want to go up for all the passes and when you can’t do that, you’re limiting your game and it’s frustrating you know. But I mean I’ll get through it. I should be back 100 percent next week.”

"He aggravated it a little bit again," said Jauron. "We don’t think it was as bad as the original injury, at least he said it wasn’t, but it bothered him.”

Highlights
Roscoe Parrish got the crowd into it early when he pulled in a 40-yard bomb from Gibran Hamdan despite some illegal contact from the cornerback.

Lee Evans made a 25-yard touchdown catch as he got behind the defense. Trent Edwards threw a well placed ball that dropped in right over Evans’ shoulder in stride.

Josh Reed made a reception coming across the field and turned it up the far sideline for extra yardage.

Fred Jackson had a nice looking run as the linemen cleared a wide path for him up the right side.

Justin Jenkins had a good reception along the far sideline on a throw by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

And Fitzpatrick threw a nice touch pass to Fred Jackson on a roll out for first down yardage.

Defensively, Chris Kelsay batted down a Trent Edwards pass that was headed to the flat.

Leodis McKelvin had a pass breakup on a deep post pass intended for Evans.

And Chris Ellis had a pair of “sacks” during the offense’s two-minute drill.

Two-minute drill
The offense did not have much luck in the two series of two-minute drills they ran. The defensive coverage was good all the way around leading to a lot of pressure up front by the defensive linemen.

A pressure by Aaron Schobel led to an underthrown deep ball by Trent Edwards that was ultimately knocked down by McKelvin.

And Chris Ellis had two sacks in three plays on Edwards when he got reps with the first unit with his second “sack” ending the drive.

Edwards is trying to replicate how much time he'll actually have in the pocket in a real game as best he can during practice to avoid those sacks.

"(QBs coach) Alex (Van Pelt) is a big advocate of trusting your feet," said Edwards. "When the primary is not there on your first hitch and your secondary is not there on your second hitch you’ve got to get to your back or start taking off and running. That’s what we’ve been practicing. That’s kind of the internal clock I’ve got to have. He’s continuing to get on me about that.

"It’s hard when we have those receivers out there. You want to get them the ball and take one, two, three hitches to them, but that’s not the way the offense needs to be run. I need to make sure that I’m going through my reads properly and make sure I’m getting the ball to guys based on where my feet are taking me.”

The second unit fared pretty well for the defense during the two-minute as well. Nic Harris got some pressure up the middle on a blitz, but Ryan Fitzpatrick made a nice play to Jenkins along the far sideline for a first down. But good coverage and pressure forced two straight incompletions after that.

Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson while rolling out along the far sideline on third down. Jackson turned it up field, but the segment period then came to a close before the drive was completed.

Lineup changes
Pat Thomas is still flip flopping with Marcus Buggs, with Thomas getting second team reps at middle linebacker and Buggs running with the third team.

With LB Ashlee Palmer out with an ankle sprain, Alvin Bowen moved up to the second unit on the weak side.

"I didn’t really look at it like I was going to specifically take his (Palmer's) spot, but you know, I have been called upon to step up into another slot and just make plays for my team,” said Bowen.

Bowen also got some reps on the strong side with the third team.

Much like Sunday night in the game, Dominic Rhodes had hardly any carries in the team portion of practice as the staff would prefer to rest his sore knee. As a result Bruce Hall and Xavier Omon got more reps, but Omon did miss some time after getting shaken up.

Demetrius Bell, who had been starting at right tackle with Butler out, went back to left tackle with the second unit.

Chris Ellis was sprinkled in for some first team reps in place of Aaron Schobel at right defensive end.

Newly signed Christian Gaddis appeared to get more work at third string left guard, than center which is his natural position. He’s expected to see time at center, once he gets the system under wraps.

Injury update
Along with Owens, Ashton Youboty (groin) missed practice as well as LB Ashlee Palmer.

“Ashlee right now they’re saying it’s a sprained ankle,” said Jauron. “They’re not putting that dreaded high (ankle sprain) word on it right now, but it was a pretty bad sprain. We think it’ll be a week or weeks, but hopefully not real long.”

The Bills have an afternoon practice scheduled for 1:10 pm on Wednesday.

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