The Bills experienced some injury casualties in Friday's preseason game at Washington. The most serious of which were the ACL injuries sustained by Jonathan Dowling and Chris Gragg. Buffalo had better news on Sunday in their return to the practice field.
Left tackle Cordy Glenn, out for most of training camp with an ankle injury, returned to practice Sunday. He participated on a limited basis working in individual position drills.
"It feels great just to be out here with these guys again," Glenn told Buffalobills.com. "Getting my feet back wet and my mindset locked back in. It felt good today. I'm just out here just getting right and getting ready."
Though Glenn has not seen any preseason game action it doesn't sound like head coach Rex Ryan is eager to see him take snaps in Thursday's preseason finale against Detroit. His approach all along is to get his starters to Week 1 of the regular season healthy.
"I see it as possible," said Ryan of Glenn's ability to play Thursday. "I don't see it as probable. Sometimes guys think they need it, I don't. I think we will simulate it in practice. So I don't think he'll play."
Aaron, Gillislee move through protocolBoth Aaron Williams and Mike Gillislee are still in the concussion protocol, but they have begun the Return-to-Participation process. Both Williams and Gillislee participated in the media viewing portion of practice. Gillislee had pads on, but Williams did not.
The league guidelines state that a player may be considered to return to practice only after the player has returned to baseline status with rest and exertion, has repeat neurophysiological testing, which is interpreted by the team neuropsychology consultant as back to baseline levels of functioning, and has completed the Return to Participation protocol. He also must be cleared by the Team Physician and the Independent Neurological Consultant.
Nickel corner candidatesThe top two nickel cornerbacks in terms of reps this summer have been Nickell Robey-Coleman and Kevon Seymour. Right now both of those players are sidelined by injury. Robey-Coleman (knee) was working on the sidelines at practice with the strength and conditioning staff. Seymour just suffered a hamstring strain in Friday's preseason game. So who fills the void?
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"We have Sterling Moore who's been playing there," said Ryan. "Corey White has played some nickel as well in this camp. We'll be just fine."
Moore has lined up mainly as the team's second nickel corner while Seymour and Robey-Coleman worked with the team's first nickel package. White has rotated in only occasionally until now.
Henderson passes first game testBills OT Seantrel Henderson returned to practice last Monday. Four days later he played 41 snaps against Washington, good for half the plays on offense. Seeing him perform like he did after an eight-month layoff, Ryan was encouraged by Henderson's play.
"I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to go as much as he did," said Ryan. "He might not have been as dominant a player as we've seen him, but he was really good. I thought he played well for us. I'm really excited for him and excited for our team. You have a guy like that and he just stays the course we're going to be in good shape with him."
Henderson's medical condition requires daily monitoring and a special diet, but so far so good for the third-year offensive tackle.
Seeking TE candidates?The loss of Chris Gragg to an ACL knee injury was particularly disappointing to Rex Ryan because the fourth-year tight end had separated himself from the other tight ends on the roster competing to be the No. 2 behind starter Charles Clay. Now comes the task of finding a new No. 2 knowing Gragg has been lost for the season.
"I don't think there was anyone who was close to him in that group. He was doing a great job for us. Gragg was playing really well for us. He was doing a much better job as a blocker and then obviously he's got that great speed as a receiver so we had different bodies in there," Ryan said. "Dray is more your traditional blocker type guy. Dependable, catches the football. O'Leary is probably the next guy. He's done a nice job catching the football. The fumble you can't have that as a tight end. His blocking is getting better, but he's not Dave Casper yet. We'll just see what happens. Annen can run and made a nice catch so we'll see how it goes."
Ryan didn't rule out the possibility of adding another tight end via the waiver wire or free agency knowing rosters have to be reduced to 75 by Tuesday at 4 pm. He also did acknowledge that undrafted rookie Glenn Gronkowski has been used at tight end a bit, but his primary focus remains fullback.
Jones excusedRookie QB Cardale Jones was excused from practice for personal reasons. Austin Trainor took his place in practice Sunday after signing earlier in the day.