Gaines questionable for SundayHe suffered a groin injury in the second half of last Sunday's win over Atlanta and he's been trying to gut his way through the practice week. Suffice to say that CB E.J. Gaines is not 100 percent healthy heading into the weekend. It's why head coach Sean McDermott left his cornerback's status up in the air for Sunday's game at Cincinnati.
"EJ Gaines will not practice (Friday) and is questionable for the game," said McDermott Friday morning.
With Gaines questionable with a groin injury and CB Shareece Wright added to the injury report Thursday with a back ailment and just a limited participant Thursday, the cornerback position made need an addition to the roster.
Buffalo has just four cornerbacks on their 53-man squad and two of them are nicked up right now.
"We're obviously dealing with the injury bug a little bit at cornerback. I'm confident we'll figure it out."
Rookie Greg Mabin, who made the 53-man roster when it was first announced in early September, currently sit on the practice squad. Buffalo's pro personnel department also worked out a host of cornerbacks this week.
McDermott fairly confident in other nicked defensive startersMarcell Dareus (ankle), Shaq Lawson (groin) and Micah Hyde (knee) are all on Buffalo's injury report. Lawson looks to be the healthiest of the three after missing last week's game and participating fully on Thursday.
Hyde practice for the first time this week on Thursday and is back practicing again today (Friday). Dareus and Hyde were both limited Thursday.
"I'm fairly confident," said McDermott of having Dareus, Hyde and Lawson for Sunday's game at Cincinnati. "No crystal ball here, but at this point we're headed in the right direction."
On another positive note, OT Cordy Glenn practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and then fully on Thursday.
Bills team still evolvingAs encouraging as Buffalo's 3-1 start has been, the coaching staff and players are not resting on their laurels at all. Their offense ranks 29th in the league, with their run game 16th. Their return game is middle of the pack and even though their defense has been solid through the first quarter of the season, they're looking at 18th ranked third down defense and 13th ranked run defense and are seeking improvement.
"We have to continue to evolve in all three phases. We're a balanced football team. I know a lot has been said about the defense and special teams, but we must evolve in all three areas," McDermott said. "We expect to win in all three areas. Sometimes you get two out of the three. Sometimes you get one out of the three. Sometimes you get all three. We're confident in all three areas, but we have work to do in all three areas."
As anxious as McDermott, the coaches and the players are to improve, the Bills sideline boss also recognizes that in year one with a new staff, new system and a host of new players, fitting everything together seamlessly doesn't just happen.
"I do believe in a learning curve. I think that's true of anything," he said. "It's no different for defense or special teams as it is with the offense. Sometimes things take time. Just like everything when you work hard you don't get the result right way that you might be looking for. We have to continue to stay after it and adjust to our surroundings, adjust to some new techniques. I'm confident. I know that the results haven't been as consistent as we would've liked, but I'm confident in the group."