Terrell Owens emerged from the locker room to participate in his first practice in more than a week after spraining his toe in the Hall of Fame game. Owens' work Monday evening however, was limited as he only took part in individual position drills catching passes from the quarterbacks without any defenders.
"Terrell did individual and that was about it and then he stayed out for a while," said head coach Dick Jauron. "Then we took him back in and treated the thing. He said it felt okay. He could still feel it, but he said it felt okay."
Jauron is still labeling Owens day-to-day and would not commit to whether the veteran receiver would do more work in the upcoming practices. He and the athletic training staff want to see how the toe responds to the work it got in the evening practice before making that determination.
"The way we do it, talk to the player, talk to our medical staff, talk to them about the protocol, ask where it is and then just proceed," said Jauron. "Clearly he knows his body, and he's going to level with you how it feels. So we'll keep taking the next step in the protocol to get it better and we'll keep the dialogue going to get it better."
Florence out 2-5 weeksThe road to recovery looks like it will be considerably longer for cornerback Drayton Florence. Florence and safety Bryan Scott both suffered knee sprains in Saturday's preseason game against Chicago. And while the prognosis for Scott is good, the same can't be said for Florence.
"Bryan is pretty good and he's day to day," said Jauron. "Drayton is not quite that good, but it's not as bad as it could have been. And that's more into weeks. Not certain how many. It doesn't sound like five, but anywhere from two to five it's right in that range."
Florence had been having a solid camp, as he had all but nailed down the nickel cornerback role. Now out for an extended period of time, it's uncertain as to whether he'll even be ready for the season opener at New England.
In practice Monday night Reggie Corner assumed the first team nickel corner reps with Ashton Youboty and rookie Lydell Sargeant rotating in with the second and third units after that.
Free ByrdJairus Byrd got his first padded practice under his belt Monday night and was glad to begin the process of making up for lost time after missing the entire spring and all of the training camp practices to this point.
"I feel like I'm behind just because of the time I've missed, but like I said I'm here now, ready to roll and jumping in the mix," said Byrd. "It really feels good to get out here and work up a sweat and be around the guys."
Byrd got reps as the second team free safety as he was paired with George Wilson.
Jauron admitted he was excited to see the second-round pick out on the practice field, but is maintaining a realistic approach knowing Byrd has a lot of ground to make up in a short period of time.
"There's no way that he can be where he'd like to be and where we need him to be missing all that work," Jauron said. "We sure liked him in the college draft, we liked him enough to do what we did. We think he has a bright future and we know that he'll work hard at it, but he has a lot of work in front of him."
Jauron would not say how much or if Byrd would play in Saturday's preseason game at Green Bay feeling it was too early in the week to make such a determination. Provided the rookie shows a grasp of the defensive system it would be surprising if he did not get snaps on Saturday, knowing the plans the defensive staff has for Byrd as a potential starter.
Johnson goes no contact
Wide receiver Steve Johnson returned to practice Monday night after missing a few practices at the end of last week as well as the preseason game against Chicago. Johnson had re-aggravated the rib cartilage injury he suffered early in camp last week.
He predicted then that he'd be back on the field Monday, but he wasn't exactly thrilled with wearing a red non-contact jersey like the quarterbacks.
"That was the sole intent of it," said Jauron of the red jersey. "There was a lot of debate about it. He wasn't particularly happy about it, but it served its purpose."
Buffalo's defenders did make an effort not to make direct contact with Johnson during the practice session.
Johnson did not show any limitations from the injury and was a frequent participant in the passing game with Owens not taking any team snaps. The second-year wideout even made a diving reception along the far sideline.
Roscoe Parrish made a couple of exciting plays. His first came on a well-timed route between he and Trent Edwards as the quarterback hit him in stride over the middle for first down yardage and more.
Later in red zone work Edwards rolled away from pressure and hit Parrish in the back left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Shawn Nelson was a bigger part of the passing game in terms of reps and unofficially had three catches on the night including one along the near sideline and another on a good touch pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick that was dropped over the defender. Nelson pulled in the pass and then turned up filed along the near sideline for extra yardage.
Lee Evans had a quick hitting short touchdown reception on and inside out move during red zone work.
Steve Johnson made a couple of good receptions on back-to-back play during 11-on-11 work. On the second play Johnson came all the way across the field before diving to make the catch before sliding out of bounds over the far sideline for a 20-yard pickup.
C.J. Hawthorne also had a deep reception over the middle late in practice.
Defensively, seventh-round pick Ellis Lankster picked up where he left off Saturday. Lankster had a pair of pass breakups in the practice session, one during 7-on-7 and one during red zone work on a pass near the goal line.
The defensive line was developing some good pressure at times and collectively had about three sacks during practice.
John McCargo had a batted pass.
Ill BillsRoscoe Parrish and Shawn Nelson both left practice early. Neither one was feeling well according to Buffalo's head coach.
"Both of them felt sick," said Jauron. "And (head athletic trainer) Bud (Carpenter) told me that a few other players felt sick, so we may have something running through the team."
Defensive tackle Corey Mace also left practice early, but it was not disclosed if his exit was also due to illness.
Not practicing Monday were Matt Baker, Felton Huggins, Xavier Omon, Ashlee Palmer, Bryan Scott, Marcus Smith and Pat Thomas.