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Bell poised to start


Bills head coach Chan Gailey hasn't confirmed it to this point, but certainly left the door open that veteran left tackle Demetrius Bell could make a return to the starting lineup this week against Miami.

"We'll see," said Gailey earlier this week.

After lining up alongside starting left guard Andy Levitre in practice Wednesday, Bell indicated he's been given the green light and will make his first start since Week 4.

"They said they're going to give me a shot so I hope so," said Bell when asked if he's been told he'll be starting this weekend.

Perhaps most encouraging was how well Bell performed last weekend following a two-month layoff due to a fractured collar bone suffered in Week 4 against Cincinnati.

"Demetrius played a lot better than maybe even I had anticipated," said Gailey. "He came in and did a good job."

"I felt great coming back last week," said Bell. "I feel my legs are stronger now than they've ever been. That's one of the reasons I'm playing so good this year. I just felt good before the injury and I feel good now."

Bell was off to a solid start at the beginning of the season, and while it was instrumental to Buffalo's strong start as an offense it was also beneficial for Bell entering a contract year. Though he hasn't thought much about his impending free agency the left tackle does regret not seeing just how much progress his game could've made had he stayed healthy the entire season.

"I think this past weekend I think I picked up where I left off," said Bell. "It's just sad to not see where I would've been if I hadn't been hurt. I wish I could've been in there just to see where I would be right now. I've just got to take advantage of these three games."

The former seventh-round pick realizes that his injury history might be viewed negatively by potential free agent suitors, but he hopes there are alternative interpretations of his career knowing how hard he worked in 2010 playing on a knee that endured offseason microfracture surgery.

"I'm sure you're going to have the guys out there that say the guy has been hurt for most of his career," he said. "Then again there are going to be people out there that say he's out there busting his (tail) and injuries are going to occur. You have to see it from both sides and know what the coaches are looking for."

Bell, who will be an unrestricted free agent come March, would like re-sign with the Bills, but to this point said no talks with the club have taken place.

"This is home for me," he said. "I would love to be here, but again you've got to look at it in terms of what the coaches are thinking."

Bell believes all that counts is having good game tape, something he believes he's accomplished in the time he's been out on the field this season. He just wants to put three more games on the end of his highlight reel to prove that he's healthy and his play is still arcing upward.

"I'm not where I want to be," he said. "I wish I could've played more games, but injuries didn't let that happen. I'm glad it wasn't a season-ending injury and they didn't put me on I-R. I'm glad to be back on the field. I just have to take advantage of the opportunity."

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