The Bills have certainly had their share of struggles through the first half of the season and shaking the injury bug has been one of them. To a man the players felt the bye week came at just the right time as it will provide a week of rest for the team to heal their walking wounded.
"We definitely need the rest and the time off," said Chris Kelsay. "But it'd be a lot better sitting at 4-4 instead of 3-5. That's the bad thing about bye weeks, if you don't win the week before it's a long time to sit on it, but we've got some time off."
In addition to the four players that left Sunday's loss to the Texans with injuries, Buffalo still has seven others trying to return from injuries suffered in games prior to Week 8.
The Bills are so short handed the staff has only scheduled two practices for the bye week.
"We'll just struggle to get enough guys out there to go through it and a lot of the older players probably won't be able to go," said head coach Dick Jauron. "But it will be good work for a lot of the backups and we need to develop some of those guys with the way the year has gone so far. We need all the work we can get with them."
Jairus Byrd (groin), Keith Ellison (quad), Jamon Meredith (MCL) and Aaron Schobel (groin) were the latest casualties on Sunday and Byrd spent Monday seeing a specialist to check up on his sports-hernia surgery from this past summer.
"Jairus is in Philadelphia and he's just seeing a specialist for the type of injury he sustained that kept him out of camp," said Jauron. "This was planned before the game that he was going to take this day and go down there and see this doctor. That's where he is and we'll know more about it when he gets back."
Jauron has mentioned that Byrd has been nagged by discomfort in the area where the surgery was performed. Whether it was exacerbated or related to the groin injury he suffered Sunday was not disclosed.
"It's been bothering him a little bit and he didn't feel 100 percent," said Jauron. "It hadn't kept him off the field and it hadn't really kept him out of practice. Hopefully it'll turn up fine."
Ellison's quad strain was very sore Monday and Jauron called Aaron Schobel's groin injury a "wait and see" situation. But Jamon Meredith's MCL sprain is expected to cost him up to two weeks.
Fortunately the man Meredith replaced at right tackle on Buffalo's offensive line, Jonathan Scott, is close to returning from a high ankle sprain that has forced him to miss the last three games.
"Bud (Carpenter) feels there's a chance," said Jauron in reference to Scott. "Not this week, but the following week in preparation for Tennessee that he may be able to (practice)."
Trent Edwards practiced on a limited basis coming off his concussion last week. Now two weeks removed from the game in which he sustained the head injury it's anticipated that Edwards will do more in practice during the bye which is being termed a "transition week" by the medical staff.
"What that means is he transitions from a little bit of work to probably full activity," said Jauron. "There won't be that much activity this week because we're just so banged up. We won't be able to do a whole lot. What we are able to do he'll increase more. We'll look at it at the end of the week and decide where we go."
Meanwhile Shawn Nelson appears closer to practicing after suffering from migraines the past two weeks.
"Shawn Nelson we're kind of anticipating that he may be able to come back this week," Jauron said.
Bryan Scott has a clean bill of health after missing the last five games due to a high ankle sprain, and will practice this week.
"I'm so excited," said Scott. "When you have that feeling of not being out there to help your teammates you have this feeling where your self-worth is kind of down. So I'm excited to get back out there."
Scott practiced on a limited basis last week, but wasn't quite ready for game action. Coming out of the bye that won't be a concern.
"It did feel pretty good (last week)," said Scott. "But we decided to give me a little more time so after the bye there would be no setbacks and everything would be 100 percent."
His fellow safety Donte Whitner however, is still very sore as he's suffering with an ankle injury. He's missed four of the last five games with thumb surgery the reason he missed the Week 4 and Week 5 contests.
Kyle Williams and Corey McIntyre are still recovering from sprained knees suffered in Week 7 at Carolina and may or may not be ready to return by Week 10 at Tennessee.
"They're pretty much on the same schedule, which was two to three weeks from when they got injured," said Jauron. "So we'll have to see how that goes. Hopefully it may get accelerated."
Hardy updateBuffalo has one player in reserve that they can add to the roster in the near future. James Hardy has been practicing with the team for a week and a half and come Nov. 11 the team will have to decide whether to add him to the active roster. All indications are that will happen.
"Unless something unexpected occurs I think you could definitely lean that way," said Jauron. "We have to see where it goes personnel-wise where we have to go."
The Bills currently have six receivers on the roster. Either way Hardy feels prepared to hit the ground running when that decision comes down.
"I feel great. I feel I've had two weeks to come back," said Hardy. "I've done pretty well in practice and now I'm ready to move forward so I can get back out on the field."