The news was not promising concerning the Bills beleaguered offensive line Monday. A specific diagnosis of starting left tackle Demetrius Bell's knee injury had not yet been determined by the team's medical staff, but head coach Dick Jauron was not feeling good about the lineman's chances of playing Sunday in Jacksonville.
"We're not optimistic about that at this point," said Jauron. "Our doctors will see him again later (Monday) and we'll know a lot more about it."
Demetrius Bell suffered the injury in the first half of the Bills game against the Titans and did not return. Bell's likely absence for Sunday's game means Buffalo could have their fifth different tackle tandem in 10 games this season.
Among the considerations for the left tackle position is Jonathan Scott, who missed last week's game due to the passing of his father.
"We're just hoping that Jonathan returns to us as quickly as possible as least to bring back some depth to us," said Jauron.
Scott started in place of Demetrius Bell at left tackle back in Week 4 when a groin injury kept him out of the lineup, but Jauron's reference to Scott as depth could mean they have different plans in mind.
On Sunday the Bills staff kicked rookie left guard Andy Levitre out to left tackle when Bell left the game and he held his own. The Oregon State product played his last two collegiate seasons at tackle and admitted it made the switch easier to handle.
"It was a rough start in the beginning, but it took a couple of snaps to get used to it," said Levitre. "I hadn't even taken any sets in practice before. I just tried my best to play football. It wasn't too bad."
Jauron admitted that Levitre is in the mix as a replacement option if Bell is out for any length of time.
"It's a consideration," Jauron said. "We talked a little bit about those issues already and that will continue. But Andy did a decent job out there at left tackle against good pass rushers. So it is definitely a consideration."
Fellow rookie Jamon Meredith was dressed for Sunday's game, but still is not fully recovered from a sprained MCL suffered in the Houston game. He was available only in an extreme emergency Sunday after practicing on just a limited basis leading up to the Tennessee game.
Meredith has made three starts at right tackle since being signed off Green Bay's practice squad in late September. Whether he'll be able to play this week remains to be seen. That leaves Kirk Chambers as the only healthy offensive tackle with Scott.
Due to the tenuous nature of Meredith's condition, the unknown return of Jonathan Scott, who was attending his father's funeral Monday and Bell's injury, the Bills will be working out free agent tackles to fortify the roster.
"I believe that we will bring in people and work them out," said Jauron. "Whoever is available we'll look at them. We have a pretty good idea, because of our situation through the year, who is available. I know we'll go through the process again and be as thorough as we can be. Even with everybody healthy and Jamon healed up it still only gives us seven healthy on the roster if in fact the worst is true about D. Bell. So we'll be looking to fill that out somehow."
Those workouts are expected to take place Tuesday. The Bills do not disclose the names of free agents that they work out, but some of the veteran free agents currently on the market include Wesley Britt, Elton Brown, Kwame Harris, Jonas Jennings, Jon Runyan and L.J. Shelton.