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Bills Today: Harvin kept tabs on Bills players


Here's the Bills news of note for Nov. 2nd.

**1 - Harvin kept tabs on Bills players

**Wide receiver Percy Harvin is a Bill again after signing with the club Tuesday. Even though he admitted that the itch to play had not returned through the first month of the season he was keeping tabs on his former Buffalo teammates.

"I was texting a lot of the guys throughout the season just kind of checking up on them," said Harvin. "Corey (Graham) and I stay in the same area, so he and I worked out together a couple of times. I text him a whole bunch."

Once he was 100 percent healthy and feeling really good in his training workouts, the desire to play quickly returned. But it was Harvin's comfort level with the Bills that made his decision to come out of retirement one he was able to make in a matter of days.

Yes, he knows the coaching staff, the playbook, but his camaraderie with the players in Buffalo's locker room may have carried the most weight.

Harvin and Tyrod Taylor grew up 20 miles from one another in Virginia. They played against one another in high school. Even a new teammate who plays the same position is from Virginia Beach.

"I grew up with Tyrod," said Harvin. "Justin (Hunter) is from the same area, so it was just a lot of familiarity here. It just kind of all fell in place for me."

2 - Watkins foot improvingThe Bills have been without their top wide receiver since Week 2. Sammy Watkins has been on injured reserve since Sept. 30th. But every NFL team can pull a player back off injured reserve eight weeks after being designated for I-R to play in a game.

Last week head coach Rex Ryan said that Watkins ailing foot that underwent surgery last spring was out of the immobilizer boot. On Tuesday Bills GM Dough Whaley had an encouraging report on the receiver's recovery.

"Right now still no setbacks and we're looking day by day he's getting better and better," Whaley said. "We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks when he's actually able to get back to practice and make a determination."

Under the new injured reserve rules a player can return from injured reserve to practice six weeks after he's placed on I-R. That would mean if medically cleared to do so that Watkins could begin practicing on Friday of the bye week (Nov. 11th). If that goes well the first game Watkins would be eligible to return is Nov. 27th against Jacksonville.

**3 - Alexander optimistic; understands if role is reduced

**On Monday veteran LB Lorenzo Alexander got to work on treatment for his ailing hamstring that forced him to exit early from Sunday's loss to the Patriots. By Tuesday he was optimistic about being able to return to the lineup in Week 9 on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks.

"Already off to a good week of getting some rehab," said Alexander. "Feel a lot better than I did Sunday. Each day has gotten progressively better. So I'm looking forward to playing versus the Seahawks.

At the same time Alexander's hamstring injury has Rex Ryan committed to reducing the veteran's workload. The pass rusher had been averaging 65 plays per game between defense and special teams before exiting last week's game early.

His role on special teams has been prominent from the start as he has appeared on all four main units. Every week he had one of the three highest playtime totals on coordinator Danny Crossman's special teams units.

His playtime on defense has ranged anywhere from 52 to 86 percent of the defensive snaps this season before last week's abbreviated outing.

Alexander understands why his workload must be cut back, especially coming back from his current injury, but he doesn't want to completely abandon his role on special teams.

"I'm going to do whatever the coaches want me to do. Whatever's best for this team. If that means taking some reps off (on special teams) because obviously the amount of yardage you've got to cover, high, high energy and stuff, the change of direction that special teams brings to it can obviously put it in jeopardy of pulling it again.

"So I think Rex is going to take me off of a couple, or whatever that looks like. But hopefully I'll get back there because I know I'm needed there as well. I'm a leader there and I love playing there. So it actually helps me on defense. Keeps me in the game, keeps me fresh, keeps me aware of everything that's going on. So hopefully (the injury) doesn't last too long."

Alexander will have a full bye week coming out of the Seattle game to continue to rehab his hamstring injury.

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