There was good news and not so good news on the injury front for the Bills as they began another week of training camp practices following their off day Sunday. The good news was for the first time in the training camp setting, Paul Posluszny and Keith Ellison were both practicing with their teammates.
Posluszny had minor groin surgery two weeks prior to the opening of camp, and has been working his way back to the practice field ever since. The inside linebacker is still limited, but fared well Monday morning.
"It feels good, it's getting close to 100 percent," Posluszny said. "It's not there yet. But I can still move around and do some things. It's getting close, it's getting better."
Posluszny and Ellison only did individual position drills and they each got a handful of reps in 7-on-7. Neither participated in 11-on-11 team work. Still, it was a step forward for both of them.
"It felt good just to be out there running around with the guys," Posluszny said. "It felt good just to see some routes develop, react a little bit, see the world through a facemask again. It felt good to be back out there."
For Ellison, it's the first time he's taken the field since practicing sparingly in the spring workouts. Still no word on whether either veteran linebacker will be well enough to go in Friday night's preseason opener in Washington.
"I'm not sure," Posluszny said. "They haven't told me. I've got a long way to go. I've got to get some contact, I've got to hit and tackle. So if I continue to progress well, that might be a possibility, but they haven't told me one way or the other."
Also returning to practice off minor injuries were RB Chad Simpson and WR David Nelson.
Three players nickedAlthough four players rejoined the fray on the practice field Monday morning, three others left practice early with injuries. The first was FB Corey McIntyre, who got rolled up on a running play and hopped on one foot to the sideline.
After being tended to by athletic trainers for several minutes he limped to the locker room favoring his left leg.
A short time later, WR Felton Huggins made a diving catch in 7-on-7, but landed awkwardly on his left shoulder. He too headed to the locker room before practice was over after being examined by the athletic training staff.
At about the same time OL Andre Ramsey retired to the locker room as well. His malady was not as obvious during team play as the other two, but he walked to the locker room under his own power.
HighlightsOn the defensive side, Antonio Coleman opened up with a pass breakup during run game work on a play fake.
Jairus Byrd followed up with a pass defense of his own along the far sideline preventing a completion to Lee Evans.
Andra Davis had a tackle for loss in 11-on-11 on a carry by Marshawn Lynch
DL Rashaad Duncan had a batted pass to force an incompletion.
Ashton Youboty had a pass breakup along the far sideline on a throw that had Naaman Roosevelt targeted.
John McCargo had a quarterback pressure during a two-minute drill flushing Brian Brohm out of the pocket and forcing him to throw the ball away.
And LB Donovan Woods had a pair of tackles for loss, both of which came on Chad Simpson on receptions from out of the backfield.
Offensively, Steve Johnson ran a well-timed comeback route allowing Trent Edwards to hit him for a first down gain. Johnson also had a 30-yard reception to set up a first and goal situation in the two-minute drill.
Felton Huggins made a diving grab in 7-on-7 work on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Chad Jackson also laid out for a pass from Edwards for a 15-yard pickup.
Brian Brohm read the blitz well and his his hot receiver, which was Naaman Roosevelt on the play in his two-minute drill series.
And Michael Matthews had a big fourth down conversion in the two-minute drill on a nice catch over the middle from Brohm.
It should also be noted that both Roosevelt and Donald Jones were busy targets Monday with three receptions each.
In and outEric Wood was participating in practice, but did not see any 11-on-11 work Monday morning. Demetrius Bell did not practice in the morning session.
Stepping in for Wood during team drills was Andre Ramsey, and when he left injured he was replaced by Christian Gaddis.
Jamon Meredith continued to man left tackle with Bell not participating.
Paul Posluszny got some first team reps in 7-on-7 with Keith Ellison getting some second team reps during the same period.
Non-participants were Roscoe Parrish, Kawika Mitchell, Danny Batten, Ed Wang, Cornell Green, Derek Schouman, Spencer Johnson and Marcus Stroud. Marcus Easley was absent.
Alex Carrington spelled Stroud on the defensive line at end, while Cordaro Howard stepped in for Cornell Green at the starting right tackle spot.
ScheduleThe Bills have a night practice, but it has been pushed back to 7:15 pm.
NIGHT PRACTICE NOTESA night that started with heavy rain tapered off to a light drizzle for most of Buffalo's Monday night practice enabling the team to get their work done. Head coach Chan Gailey however, liked that his players were forced to adjust to some wet conditions.
"It was really good," he said. "We needed the wet ball. We needed to be able to handle and throw it and catch and hold onto it. It was good for us."
Though there were a few more dropped balls through the course of the practice, the offense did continue to make plays a bit further down the field. Trent Edwards has been in sync with Lee Evans in particular the last few days of practice and that continued Monday night.
"Those are the hardest ones to connect on," said Edwards of the deep ball. "Obviously, they're the furthest down the field and they're the hardest to be accurate with, but Lee's one of the best go-ball route runners in this league. He runs them down, he pins the guy, he gets open down field. We just have to protect. I got to be able to let it fly. I got to be accurate with it. It just takes a little while for it to develop. You're going to miss some. Sometimes you'll look really bad and other times you'll look really good. You just got to take the good with the bad on that."
After connecting on some go routes the past few practices, the cornerbacks were clearly protecting against it in practice Monday as Evans, Steve Johnson and a couple of other receivers were getting open consistently on the post route inside.
"It has been working," said Evans of the post route. "It's one of those plays that you call, and that's where you want to take a shot. You have to have a few of those in the playbook that you call just to get it up there and let the defense know that you will stretch the field vertically. You've got to practice it and if you can be successful at it you can be good. So that's what we've really been doing the past few nights."
What was most encouraging about Edwards was his willingness to throw into tight spaces Monday night as he appears to be displaying a greater confidence in his reads and ability to deliver the football with accuracy and velocity.
Gailey still believes there's some ground still to cover to really get the passing game over the hump, and reiterated the need for the line to hold up the pass rush for that to come to fruition.
"We're making progress," he said. "It's a work in progress for lack of a better term, but there were some good things. I thought we were sharp in some areas and not so sharp in other areas. Protection is going to be one of the keys for us. We've got to protect. We've got some receivers I think that can make some things happen."
Parrish backSpeaking of receivers, Roscoe Parrish returned to the lineup Monday night after missing the past couple of days with a minor injury and illness. Parrish was back in his familiar slot role.
Edwards has made a point of talking through things with Parrish on the field between series to ensure that they are in sync. The diminutive receiver says that also happens in the meeting room.
"You've got to have a good relationship with your quarterback because he's not going to see everything and vice versa," Parrish said. "If you beat your guy on a route you're not going to come to him and say, 'Dang why didn't you throw me the ball?' You just let him know that you had your guy and when you watch film you talk about it. That's chemistry. It's all just about staying positive with one another."
Receivers banged upWhile Parrish returned to the practice field, two others may not be back for a while. Marcus Easley's sore knee suffered last week might be more serious than initially believed after Gailey explained the rookie receiver's absence on Monday.
"Easley is getting a second opinion right now on an injury and we'll see where that takes us," said Gailey.
The news was no better for Felton Huggins, who injured his shoulder in the morning practice Monday when he landed awkwardly on his left shoulder while diving for a pass.
"Felton ended up hurting his shoulder pretty bad," said Gailey. "So we'll have to see what that entails."
When asked if surgery was a possibility, Gailey said he'll know more in a couple of days.
HighlightsOn the offensive side Steve Johnson pulled in a touchdown pass from Edwards as Johnson was wide open in the front right corner of the end zone on a busted coverage.
Edwards zipped a touchdown pass into tight coverage to Evans on a post pattern in 7-on-7 red zone.
Ryan Fitzpatrick hit FB Rodney Ferguson out of the backfield, who found enough daylight to reach the end zone.
Fitzpatrick also fired a strike into David Nelson for a touchdown catch right under the uprights.
Parrish pulled in a touchdown pass right down the middle in red zone work, but under live conditions may have been labeled as both Donte Whitner and Jairus Byrd wisely pulled up at the last second.
Edwards popped another pass in to Evans on another post route for a 20-yard pickup in 11-on-11.
Defensively, Kyle Williams had a tackle for loss during run game work as he wrapped up C.J. Spiller in the backfield.
George Wilson had a pass breakup that almost turned into an interception on a play fake during run game drills.
Leodis McKelvin forced an incompletion on a throw intended for Michael Matthews in the flat.
Keith Ellison had a pass breakup over the middle on a throw that had Steve Johnson targeted during red zone work.
Chris Kelsay had an interception off a deflected pass that was tipped by intended receiver Jonathan Stupar.
Jairus Byrd stripped Johnson of a potential completion deep over the middle to prevent a big gain on another well thrown ball by Edwards downfield.
Drayton Florence had a pass breakup along the far sideline on a broken play in 11-on-11.
And Ellis Lankster had an interception return for a touchdown when intended receiver David Nelson slipped on the wet turf while trying to break off his route.
In and outThe plan with Paul Posluszny and Keith Ellison as they returned to the practice field Monday is much the same as it has been for other players coming off injury.
"Just like we did with Chris Kelsay, just slowly get them in some individual, get them into some 7-on-7 non-contact situations," said Gailey. "I think it's been good for both of them to get back on the field."
Posluszny on Monday night did individual drills only while Ellison participated in individual and 7-on-7 work. When asked if either of them have a chance for Friday night's preseason opener, Gailey said the Ellison is more likely to play than Posluszny.
The only other new non-participants were FB Corey McIntyre, who suffered an ankle injury in the morning session, but Gailey called the injury minor in nature. And OL Andre Ramsey who left the morning practice with an undisclosed injury.
Eric Wood was held out of team work and was replaced by Cordaro Howard. Kirk Chambers manned right tackle with the starting unit with Cornell Green sidelined.
ScheduleThe Bills have a single practice on Tuesday scheduled for 3:15 pm.