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Call on Lewis pushed back; Spiller expected to go

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was hopeful that Thad Lewis' battered ribs would feel good enough to allow him to practice Thursday. That did not prove to be the case. Lewis missed a second straight day of practice pushing back the decision making process for Marrone on his starting signal caller.

"We're still not ready to make a decision right now until we get more information," said Marrone.

The Bills head coach at this point feels it's a toss-up as to whether Lewis will start at quarterback on Sunday against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. There was a media report that Lewis would play this weekend, but that is news to Marrone.

"Fifty-fifty," he said of Lewis' chances of playing Sunday. "I spoke to Thad and I spoke to the trainers and I know there was a report out there with a league source. I'm hoping the league source is right because I really don't know right now. It's 50-50. Trust me."

Taking snaps in Lewis' absence for a second consecutive day were Jeff Tuel and Matt Flynn. Marrone is also keeping the decision on who might replace Lewis, if necessary, close to the vest.

"I'm going to keep that private with schematics of what's going on," he said. "Both players are taking reps though and both of them are doing a nice job."

If Lewis is able to practice Friday, Marrone said how he performed in practice would determine whether he'd be given the nod to start Sunday.

"It would depend how he practiced on Friday," said Marrone in response to the hypothetical situation. "Each player is different and that's not discounting Jeff (Tuel) and Matt Flynn. With those guys putting the work in, those two guys were told to prepare like they're going to start this game. And we're preparing Thad mentally and then we've just got make sure physically he can play."

Spiller expected to play SundayTrying to play through a high ankle sprain initially sustained in Week 4, C.J. Spiller was held out of last week's game at New Orleans to rest the ailing ankle. Spiller has practiced on a limited basis each of the past two days and signs are pointing to him returning to the lineup Sunday.

"I feel good about C.J. playing and talking with him, without any setbacks, we feel he'll be ready to go," said Marrone.

Spiller, who practiced on both Wednesday and Thursday for the first time in three weeks doesn't know for sure if the rest he got last Sunday helped speed up his recovery.

"Who knows because I've been playing on it and there's only the one game that I missed," he said.
"It would be hard for me to say that it accelerated the healing process because even on Sunday when I went out there (to test it) it felt good so who knows or can say what (the rest) has done? It felt better (Thursday)."

Spiller has been used in a complementary role to Fred Jackson in each of the past three games he's played. While not 100 percent recovered from a sprained MCL, Jackson has carried more of the rushing load for Buffalo. Jackson, who did not practice Wednesday, was a full practice participant Thursday.

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