Quick Hits: Taron Johnson, Jon Feliciano return to practice

After missing the last two games, nickel cornerback Taron Johnson returned to practice on Wednesday.
After missing the last two games, nickel cornerback Taron Johnson returned to practice on Wednesday.

1. Starters return to practice

It's been a couple of weeks since nickel CB Taron Johnson has practiced, but he's participating today.

"Taron will be limited in practice today," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We'll see how he does."

For the past two weeks, the Bills have used a trio of players to spell Johnson in the nickel corner role, using Dean Marlowe, Siran Neal and Kevin Johnson in each of the last two games.

Coach McDermott said that Jon Feliciano, who left last week's game with a neck injury will be limited in practice Wednesday as well.

The news was not as encouraging for rookie RB Devin Singletary and TE Tyler Kroft.

"Devin and Tyler won't practice," said McDermott. "Veteran (rest day) guys will be Lorenzo Alexander, John Brown, Jerry Hughes and Ty Nsekhe."

Meanwhile, second-year LB Corey Thompson, a key special teams performer who missed last week's game underwent surgery.

"Corey Thompson just got out of ankle surgery," said McDermott. "We'll just take it one week at a time right now."

McDermott said he did not believe Thompson's situation to be season-ending, but the linebacker is out indefinitely.

2. Our culture has changed

It's been a steady and methodical build for McDermott and GM Brandon Beane in getting the Bills roster to place where they feel they have all the right kind of players on board. Now in year three, the Bills brass feels they have a strong roster that largely embodies the ideals of what the organization believes are keys to fielding a successful team.

That began with culture, which is something Buffalo's head coach believe has now been changed for the better, and credits New England's success as an organization for keeping them committed to seeing their own process through.

"We respect what the Patriots have been able to do," McDermott said. "If you don't watch and learn from other people, especially those who have been the best, and they're the defending champs, then you're ignorant to a (successful) model out there.

"As it relates it to us I think we've moved from where the meter was from when we first got here to where we are now in a lot of ways. I'm confident that mostly driven by the people that our culture has changed. Still with work to do, but I'm confident we've moved that meter."

3. Not a measuring stick game

For all the NFL analysts and armchair quarterbacks, Sunday's game for the Bills against their division nemesis, the Patriots, is seen as a measuring stick game. Buffalo's sideline boss however, sees the matchup differently.

"We look at it like this is another good opponent and we have to continue to focus on our process," said McDermott. "Right now we're in Week 4 of this season with this team and I really believe you take it one game a time. Sometimes with young people you study the past and you respect the past and you learn from it, but a lot of our guys are just focused on the present and that's good."

McDermott did go on to say that he and his coaching staff are making sure that younger players are aware of the history between the two teams, but that there is a point where you have to separate the past from what will be directly in front of them on Sunday.

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