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Butler taking reps at tackle

Bills right guard Brad Butler was the newest addition to the offensive tackle mix Tuesday as he took reps primarily with the third team offense.

"It was good," said Butler after coming off the field Tuesday afternoon. "Especially since it was a no pads practice I was able to work on my footwork and technique a little more. If I had the pads I'd also have to worry about things like a bull rush."

With the Bills shorthanded at the offensive tackle position after the injuries suffered by Patrick Estes and Matt Murphy Monday night, Butler became the logical candidate to step in and take snaps at the position.

"The coaches said that they're going to make a final decision tonight on what they're going to do for the game on Thursday," said Butler. "A lot is still dependent upon whether Estes will be able to dress. I'm just going to work here for the next two days before the game and get some tackle sets and definitely go out there and perform well."

Butler's reps at tackle were limited as the coaching staff doesn't want to overload any one of their linemen. Kirk Chambers and Langston Walker also took reps at right tackle.

Estes was in attendance at the team's closed morning walk through Tuesday as well as the afternoon practice with a stocking wrap around his left knee after he was rolled up on a running play Monday night. He stood on his own two feet for the entire 75-minute session, but did not participate.

"We'll try to remain optimistic and see, but I don't know," said Jauron of Estes' chance of playing Thursday night. "He's very sore today."

With the Bills next preseason game just over 48 hours away it stands to reason that Estes is a long shot to play. That means Butler who was taking some tackle sets as soon as the Monday night practice ended with offensive line coach Sean Kugler will likely be the short term answer with only three other healthy tackles on the roster.

Fortunately for the Bills, Butler is not foreign to the position having played offensive tackle for most of his college career at the University of Virginia. In fact this isn't the first time he's been tabbed a reserve tackle by the Bills.

"Last year the last game of the season we didn't have (Jason) Peters and I was going to be the swing tackle that game if Kirk (Chambers) or Langston (Walker) got hurt," said Butler. "I don't mind playing there at all."

At the same time Butler knows he'll have to re-familiarize himself with the responsibilities and techniques of the position.

"The biggest thing is the footwork because there's so much more space out at tackle you really have to eat up more space out there where at guard it's a lot tighter," Butler said. "It's something I'll continue to work on to get better at because I haven't been there for a while."

Butler will also have to put in some extra study time with the playbook to get some of the lesser used plays down for the tackle position.

"A lot of our basic plays I'll know what's going on because playing guard right next to the tackle I know what he's doing," said Butler. "But for some of the plays we don't use very often I'm really going to have to sit there and really go through the playbook over the next couple of days and figure out what the right tackle has to do."

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