Bills head coach Chan Gailey knew it was a possibility heading into the bye weekend. On Monday it became a likelihood. Starting left guard Andy Levitre was lined up at left tackle in practice Monday, and with Demetrius Bell still on the mend from a shoulder injury, Levitre is expected to start there Sunday against Washington.
"That's probably the way it's going to end up for game time," said Gailey, who is planning on not having Bell for this weekend.
Bell has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Chris Hairston, who fared well, but sustained an ankle injury in Week 6 against the Giants and is out two to four weeks.
"Hairston did a great job filling in for Demetrius," said center Eric Wood. "Now it's Andy's turn. It's going to be a challenge because it's a new position for him. It's going to be a challenge for him to get the techniques down, but during training camp he played pretty well at tackle."
Levitre has only seen time at left tackle in parts of a few games in his Bills career including Buffalo's last outing at New York in Week 6 when he got the last 15 snaps after Hairston went down with his ankle injury.
"I think it's going to require a little more focus," he said. "Being at one position for a while you understand things better. Moving to a new position… even though I'm right next to where I was there are a lot of differences. So it's just focusing on all the little details and cleaning them up during the week."
"He's a very good athlete and he's smart," said Gailey. "Those are two great ingredients for an offensive lineman. He's got a lot of natural strength that you don't get with everybody."
Sunday's assignment won't be easy as the Bills face a defensive front that's tied for first in the league in sacks with 21 in six games played.
"They're definitely getting after the passer," said Levitre. "We know we have our work cut out for us every week."
Gailey believes the communication by his men up front has been solid and will serve Levitre well on the edge.
"He's doing alright. It's not live obviously," said Gailey. "He's doing pretty good at the tempo we're practicing in, but it's going to be a lot different on Sunday."
"We have a lot of confidence in him," said Wood. "We're not going to favor him. He's a good ball player and has been for a while around here. So we've got a lot of confidence in what he can do."